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Insiders unsure if Bucs' Bennett can seize his chance

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted May 19, 2012 @ 3:18 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Buccaneers are still hoping that injured DE Da’Quan Bowers will be able to play during the 2012 season. Bowers underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon on May 11, and the Bucs will monitor his rehab before making a determination about his status around the start of training camp. It will be no surprise if he misses the entire season, though.

We hear the Bucs were hoping Bowers, who was in line to compete at left end against Michael Bennett, would earn the starting job at the position by midseason, at the latest. Now, however, it’s likely that Bennett, who started 10 games last season and shared reps with Bowers, will get a chance to prove he can be an every-down player in training camp. Last season Bennett ranked second on the team in sacks (four) and QB hits (eight), playing in 14 games.

Tampa Bay made its feelings about Bennett clear this offseason, tendering him at the first-round level as a restricted free agent. He now has a chance to position himself nicely in a contract year, but league evaluators are not convinced he’ll play with the consistent motor and desire necessary to seize the opportunity and make the most of it.

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