Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers needs to hope his groin injury heals fast.
Bowers, picked in the second round of the 2011 draft, has been missing practices of late. And his new coach, Lovie Smith, doesn't appear all that pleased with that.
“I think every day you don't practice you're huring your chances (of making the team),'' Smith said, via The Tampa Bay Times. “We've seen enough to like Da'Quan a lot. But all the reps that he's not getting, someone else is getting them. The best way to beat your competition sometimes is just to stay on the field. You can't get Wally Pipped. Da'Quan is trying to get back. Again, I think he has a future in the league, whether it be as a defensive end outside or more of a third down rush guy inside.''
In the early offseason in 2011, Bowers was regarded as a possible No. 1 overall selection. After some knee concerns, his stock fell considerably, before the Buccaneers took him with the 51st overall pick. Now, he's missing time — and reading between the lines, it doesn't appear the injury is significant enough that Smith thinks this missed time is warranted.
In three seasons, Bowers has recorded 5.5 sacks in 39 games. In the remainder of the preseason, Bowers will need to show he's still capable of living up to his potential if he's going to be a Buccaneer once again.
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