The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may get a boost on their defensive line soon, as defensive end Da'Quan Bowers is scheduled to come off the physically unable to perform list following Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bucs would have a two-week roster exemption in order for Bowers to get back into football shape.
Bowers suffered a torn Achilles in May. During the two-week roster exemption, Bowers can practice with the team.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano said he wasn't sure when Bowers would be available.
"He's improving, there's no doubt about that," Schiano said. "We're going to be very, very conservative and not going to rush that situation. We're going to make sure he's well. But I can tell you from the things I've seen, I'm really encouraged. When he comes back, I do anticipate him coming back here in the foreseeable future -- if that's three weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, I'm not sure right now."
There couldn't be a better time for the Bucs to get Bowers back. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the team's first-round pick in 2011, suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim has filled in for Clayborn in recent weeks.
Bowers said a few weeks ago that he was making a lot of progress and that it'd be up to Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik when they allow him to come back. Schiano said they're going to make sure that when Bowers returns, there's no risk of further injury, but the first-year coach feels much better about the situation than he did in the offseason.
"You hear a guy has to get his Achilles operated on, you're like, 'Oooh,'" Schiano said. "But watching the stuff he's done out there on the field in rehab, that's good stuff."