Bowers practice with the team for the first time since suffering a torn Achilles tendon in an offseason training program in May. Speculation heated up earlier in the week when the Bucs waived DE Markus White and did not immediately fill his spot on the roster.
Buccaneer head coach Greg Schiano was coy throughout the latter part of the week when it came to answering questions regarding Bowers' status for Sunday's game against rival New Orleans, saying the announcement would be made Saturday.
The Bucs have opted to fill the empty spot by activating corner back LeQuan Lewis. Undrafted out of Arizona State, Lewis signed with Tennessee in July 2011. Unable to make the final roster cuts with the Titans, Lewis spent all of last season out of football. In 2012, Lewis signed with Oakland, but was released in June. The former Sun Devil was signed by the Jets, then waived 10 days later, only to re-sign with New York five days later. The following day, he was released. On September 5th Lewis was signed to the Jets' practice squad to be released six days later. On September 12th, Lewis was signed by Dallas to the active roster and played in the first three games of the season, recording one tackle before being released from the Cowboys on October 2nd. Tampa Bay became the fourth team this year to sign Lewis, adding him to the practice squad on October 9th.
Due to Aqib Talib's suspension and Anthony Gaitor being placed on the IR/Return list, the Bucs were looking a little thin at the corner position, so activating a CB from the practice squad since Bowers is not ready to suit up in the throwback orange and whites is not a surprise given the circumstances in the secondary.
If Bowers is able to go Thursday against the Vikings in Minnesota, the Buccaneers will have to make room on the roster for the second-year defensive end. Should Lewis be the player waived to make room for Bowers, the Bucs can re-sign Lewis to the practice squad should he clear waivers.
The Saints also announced some roster moves of their own on Saturday. Once-suspended, then injured linebacker Jonathan Vilma was activated from New Orleans' PUP list and will play, more than likely, in a limited capacity against the Bucs on Sunday. In order to make room for the Saints' defensive team captain, New Orleans released veteran wideout Greg Camarillo. The Saints also announced tight end Jimmy Graham, who was the team's leading receiver a year ago, did not make the trip to Tampa after suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago in New Orleans' first win of the season against the Chargers