Some feared the worst when Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, did not participate in either of Tampa Bay's mini-camp practices at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday.
But Bucs head coach Raheem Morris put those fears to rest this afternoon when asked about Winslow, stating that the Pro Bowl tight end that was acquired in a trade with Cleveland earlier this offseason simply opted not to participate in today's voluntary workouts.
"This is a voluntary deal," Morris said when asked about Winslow. "Guys are working. They practice when they can. Kellen didn't practice today. He attended and was great. He bounced around was listening attentively. He did everything he needed to do. He came to the meeting. He's been great since he's been here and very positive. I'm just happy he's here.
"It has nothing to do with health. It's a voluntary deal and Kellen didn't go today."
The Bucs traded a second-round pick in 2009 and a fifth-round selection in 2010 to Cleveland in exchange for Winslow, who has two years remaining on his contract. It is unclear whether Winslow will practice on Thursday.
In addition to Winslow, several other Bucs players missed Wednesday's workouts, including center Jeff Faine (back), linebackers Angelo Crowell (knee) and Geno Hayes (knee), running back Earnest Graham (family matter/ankle) and Cadillac Williams (knee), cornerback Torrie Cox (knee) and tight end Jason Pociask (undisclosed).
Faine's injury is not considered serious. Sean Mahan and Jeremy Zuttah have been taking reps at center in his place.
"Everything is fine," said Faine. "I just tweaked my back a little bit last week while weightlifting. It's nothing serious. This is just the introduction stuff, so I can pick a lot of it up in the classroom. We'll just let it get back to normal."
Quarterback Brian Griese remained in Denver to be with his wife Brook, who is eight months pregnant. Tackle Donald Penn remains unsigned. He is a restricted free agent and has yet to sign his one-year, $2.7 million tender from the team.
Morris was pleased overall with Tampa Bay's second day of practices in his first mini-camp as head coach.
"Much better practice today," said Morris. "We got better at some precision things. Still off on timing. We've got to clean up that stuff, but that takes some time, of course. It was a much better day I thought."
The Bucs will hold their final mini-camp practice on Thursday morning.