The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin training camp Friday without three coveted defenders, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and linebacker Adam Hayward will be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Okoye, entering his sixth season, is still young at 25-years-old and if healthy, will provide depth at defensive tackle for the Bucs. He was a former first-round pick for the Houston Texans in 2007.READ MORE: Local Puppies Making Their Debut At The Puppy Bowl XVIII
Hayward is also entering his sixth season in the NFL, all with the Buccaneers. As a backup linebacker, he had 32 tackles in 2011 – the most of his career.READ MORE: Mulberry Man Fatally Shot On Sunday Evening
The Bucs and Bowers are both optimistic about the second-year defensive end returning before the season’s end after tearing an Achilles tendon during off-season workouts. However, Achilles tendon injuries can be tough to rehabilitate so the timetable is unclear.MORE NEWS: Over $23,000 Raised From Betty White Challenge At Humane Society of Tampa Bay
Players can be removed from the PUP list until the regular season, by which time they will have to sit out six games before being either added to the active roster or being placed on season-ending injured reserve.