The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping they can get at least half a season out of defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.
The Bucs just announced they’ve placed Bowers on the physically unable to perform list, which means he can begin practicing any time after the season’s sixth week and the team then has three weeks to decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve for the entire season.
The fact the Bucs aren’t writing off Bowers for the entire season now is another sign they believe he might be able to return and help them this season. Bowers suffered a torn Achilles tendon in May and the instant assumption was that he would miss the entire season. But Bowers has said he believes he can return around mid-season and team officials have said in recent weeks that might be a realistic goal.
A second-round draft pick last year, Bowers seemed to be a strong candidate for a starting job before his injury. With Bowers out, Michael Bennett is expected to start at defensive end opposite Adrian Clayborn, but there’s not a lot of depth beyond that.
As expected, the Bucs also placed Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph on injured reserve. Joseph suffered a torn patellar tendon in Friday night’s preseason game against New England.
The Bucs also made a bunch of other moves to get down to the league-mandated 75-player roster Monday afternoon, but there were no surprises. The Bucs waived running back De’Anthony Curtis, long-snapper Andrew DePaola, receiver Greg Ellingson, tight end Collin Franklin, receiver Ed Gant, punter Eric Guthrie, offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll, linebacker Brian Smith, safety Tramain Thomas and cornerback Marquese Wheaton.