NIMMO RETIRES: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a roster spot open up on Friday when tackle Lance Nimmo informed the team that he no longer wanted to play professional football. Instead, he has opted to pursue a business venture.
Nimmo originally entered the NFL with Tampa Bay in 2003 as a fourth-round draft selection out of West Virginia. After stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, Nimmo re-joined Tampa Bay again this offseason.
BUCS RE-SIGN LS SAWYER, RELEASE QB ALLEN: In addition to Nimmo retiring, the Bucs released quarterback Jared Allen, who had signed with the team earlier in the offseason as an undrafted free agent.
With long snapper Dave Moore sidelined with a broken finger, the Bucs re-signed LS Brian Sawyer, who had been released on July 29.
INJURY REPORT: Running backs Michael Pittman (hamstring) Jacque Lewis (hamstring), cornerback Juran Bolden (hamstring) and linebacker Jeff Gooch (hamstring) returned to practice Friday.
Tackle Kenyatta Walker was held out of the practice due to a sore knee and center Scott Jackson missed practice with a broken hand.
Several players were banged up during the morning workout, including tight end Nate Lawrie (ankle), guard Dan Buenning (calf) and T Derrick Deese (ankle), who limped off the practice field in the morning and was seen sporting a foot brace in the afternoon.
With several offensive linemen sidelined, others were asked to step up in their place on Friday morning.
“It was a little bit like The Junction City Boys there today,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “I’ll say this, I’m really proud of Anthony Davis and [Matt] Stinchcomb and [Sean] Mahan and [John] Wade. These guys took a lot of reps.
“You really can’t control some things. Every year you have some guys nicked up. Obviously, the tackle position is very depleted at this stage. Chris Colmer, who missed practice a couple days ago with a hip pointer, is sucking it up as one of The Junction City Boys. We’re concerned, obviously, with the number of men that we have out and the way we want to practice and the work we need to get done. We’ll take a good look at it here over lunch and if we need to make something happen we’ll try to do that.”
FRANCE KICKING BRYANT ASIDE?: The Bucs got mixed results from their kicking game on Friday morning. While Tood France drilled 3-of-3 field goal attempts, Matt Bryant missed all three of his.
“There’s no leader,” Gruden said of the competition at kicker. “[Todd France] certainly kicked better than Matt today. I don’t know if Matt made one; he was 0-3. I’m concerned with Matt Bryant. I think he’s a heck of a kicker and I don’t know why he’s not performing better at this stage. But Todd France has lit it up here the last three or four days.”
AFTERNOON PRACTICE CUT SHORT: Although it’s been extremely hot and humid in Lake Buena Vista, weather hadn’t cut any of Tampa Bay’s training camp practices short until Friday afternoon.
After conducting a series of individual position-oriented drills, the Bucs cut their afternoon practice short by about 40 minutes due to severe weather in the Orlando area.
Tampa Bay is scheduled to conduct a practice in full pads on Saturday morning. The players are scheduled to have the afternoon off.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on WR J.R. Russell making some nice plays:
“Yeah, he does that. He flashes. He makes a big play here, a big play there. I read somebody today say he likes being yelled at. We’ve got to straighten him out there. We don’t want the coach yelling at you. He’s got some ability. He’s a bit raw. He’s got to get a little bit better at route-running. He’s got some things he needs to work on, but he has really come a long way in six weeks. We’re looking forward to seeing him play a lot against Tennessee.”
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