Bucs' Connor Barth cleared to kick

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting some key players back after they missed most of last season with injuries.

It previously was reported that running back Doug Martin (shoulder) had been medically cleared. Now comes the news that kicker Connor Barth has been cleared, just in time to take part in the team’s offseason program, which began Monday.

Barth missed the entire 2013 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon while playing in a charity basketball game. Barth’s injury was the first in a series of unfortunate events for Tampa Bay kickers last season.

After Barth was injured, the Bucs signed veteran Lawrence Tynes. But, soon after his signing, Tynes was diagnosed with a MRSA staph infection. Tynes was placed on the non-football injury list and missed all of last season. The Bucs finally turned to veteran Rian Lindell to handle their kicking duties.

Lindell struggled with accuracy early on. Getting Barth, who is one of the best young kickers in the league, should provide a big boost for Tampa Bay’s kicking game.