The Bucs failed to re-sign former defensive end Michael Bennett is free agency, puzzling many fans. But on Sunday a report by Adam Schefter said that Bennett is facing potential surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
The odd maneuvering of the Buccaneers so far in the 2013 free agency period has been has been widely debated over the last three weeks. From the lack of any additions to the cornerback position, to allowing certain players to walk, Bucs fans, and some in the media, have been scratching their heads and wondering the reasons.
But on Sunday, perhaps one of the questions was answered, in the case of defensive end Michel Bennett at least, when it was revealed by Adam Schefter that Bennett played part of last season with a torn rotator cuff, and will need surgery at some point to correct the ailment.
The injury could have played a bearing on the lack of interest by the Buccaneers, and other NFL teams for that matter, as Tampa Bay’s most productive defensive linemen(9 sacks, 18 TFL) ended up signing just one-year $5 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
Looking back over the injury reports sent weekly during the season, Bennett showed up on November 7 for the first time with his shoulder listed as injured. The previous week the Buccaneers had traveled to Oakland and it is possible the injury was sustained in that game. Bennett recorded a sack in that Week 9 Oakland game, his sixth of the season, and then recorded just three more over the final eight games. Two of the remaining three sacks came in one game, against Philadelphia, meaning Bennett failed to produce a sack in six of the final eight games of the season.
The prognosis for Bennett is up in the air if Schefter’s report is correct. Bennett could choose surgery now but his status for the start of the regular season would be unclear. Bennett could also attempt to play with the injury, as it appears he did over the second half of the 2012 season.
The Buccaneers have not commented on Bennett's injury, and maintained throughout the weeks prior to the start of free agency that they were prepared to enter 2013 with Da'Quan Bowers as their starting left defensive end.
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