This Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were finally given some good news when doctors told them that defensive end Da’Quan Bowers was cleared to participate in practice. This couldn’t have come at a better time for the Buccaneers, who are in the bottom tier of the league with sacks with eight after five games.
They need someone to help out Gerald McCoy and Michael Bennett, and Bowers has the potential to be that guy. I say this because it’s apparent how well Bowers had adapted towards the end of 2011.
He was once considered a top-five pick, and was rated the best player coming out of high school in a class that included Julio Jones and A.J. Green, who many scouts believed could have made the jump to the professional level as freshman.
The most important thing to ensure longevity for Bowers, is that the Buccaneers do not rush his return. The original diagnosis on Bowers, was that he tore his Achilles, which resulted in a pricey recovery estimated to be well over a year. With Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs also returning from the same injury this week, it could be that either they were both misdiagnosed, or have both recovered extremely fast.
While Bowers may be cleared to play, it should be several weeks until we even see him in a limited role. I know that he has been working diligently on rehabilitation, but being in football shape and ready to take on the violent physical contact on a play-to-play basis isn’t likely at this time. I’m sure that Coach Greg Schiano will make sure he’s 100% in all aspects before he ever sees a snap.