The Buccaneers announced Tuesday morning that three defensive players have been put on the preseason PUP (physically unable to perform) list – defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, and linebacker Adam Hayward.
In May, Bowers suffered a torn Achilles tendon in an off-season workout, and had successful surgery a few days later. The placement of Bowers on the PUP was to be expected, as the Bucs are hopeful he will return at some point during the regular season. Michael Bennett was installed at left end replacing Bowers in mini-camp.
Okoye was signed to a one-year deal with the Bucs worth $1.3 million in April to add depth to an injury-prone interior line. For Chicago last season, Okoye made only one start, but was a fixture in the defensive line rotation, playing in all 16 games. Registering four sacks and 27 quarterback pressures, he was second in playing time among all Bears interior linemen. Okoye missed the June mini-camp after he had arthroscopic knee surgery, and the procedure was thought to be minor in nature and Okoye was expected to be a full participant in training camp.
Hayward played in all 16 games for the Bucs last season, and started two at weakside linebacker. Hayward struggled through most of last season with a foot injury. No other details about Hayward's injury are known and the Buccaneers declined comment.
During preseason a player can come off the physically unable to perform list at any time, but a player must sit out six games if he is on the PUP once the regular season begins.
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