The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered a costly offseason loss last week when defensive end Da'Quan Bowers tore his Achilles tendon, a potential season-ending injury. In the wake of the loss, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times that the team has no current intention of looking for a replacement.
OTAs are just getting started. Training camp is three months away, giving the Bucs time to see if any of the other defensive ends on the roster can fill the void. Here's what Dominik told the press on Tuesday:
"Right now I think we're just trying to evaluate these men that we have here for a little bit before we feel like we need to do something," Dominik said. "But if it gets to the point where we feel like we have to do something, it's an important position."
Bowers was being counted on as key cog in the team's defense. Pass rushers are particularly important in the NFC South against division opponents that feature Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan.
There is an outside chance that Bowers returns before the end of the season. Last year's 2nd-round pick expressed confidence that he would see the field this year. Mark Dominik refused to rule out that possibility in his comments to the press.
Finding a replacement on the same level as Bowers will be difficult, with the upper and middle tier free agents long since signed. A few rebound candidates may shake loose as teams shuffle their depth charts. For now, Tampa Bay will hope they can find their own diamond in the rough.