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Bucs holding out hope Da’Quan Bowers can play this year


When defensive end Da’Quan Bowers joined the parade of offseason Achilles injury sufferers this offseason, the immediate speculation was that the Buccaneers would lose Bowers for the entire season.

A few days have passed, Bowers has had surgery and the Buccaneers are trying to keep an optimistic view of the timetable for his return. General Manager Mark Dominik indicated that Bowers will be destined for the PUP list instead of injured reserve to keep open the possibility that Bowers would return this season.

“His surgery was successful,” Dominik said, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. “It all comes down to his rehab. He’s going to do his rehab here with Shannon Merrick, who is one of the best rehab gurus in the National Football League, which is why guys have been able to come back like they have at a quicker pace. We hope it does the same thing for him.”

The Bucs are still going to have to deal with his absence, however. Michael Bennett will move into the starting lineup, leaving the team terribly short on experienced defensive ends behind Bennett and Adrian Clayborn. They have George Johnson, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and E.J. Wilson, but they have played in just 13 NFL games between them at this point in their careers.

For now, the Bucs plan to stick with what they have but Dominik didn’t rule out bringing in someone from the outside if they don’t like what they see from the current group.