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Day one of Bucs training camp is in full swing at the AdventHealth Training Center, but not for everyone. Tight end O.J. Howard was seen on the field warming up but is not partaking in team drills. During rookie mini-camp head coach Bruce Arians said he thought the tight end was “really close” to a return. Adding, “I don’t see any setbacks. If and when we can get together in this offseason program, he’ll be ready to go.” Not quite ready, Howard continues to work his way back from an achilles injury he sustained in week four.

Entering his fifth year, Howard has a lot to prove to receive a second contract from the team. The 2017 first round pick has totaled 105 receptions for 1,602 yards and 14 touchdowns in his four season with the Bucs. Although since he was drafted, Howard has missed 22 of a possible 64 games due to injury.

The Bucs are thin at the position right now with Cam Brate on the PUP list and Howard not practicing. They did bring in De’Quan Hampton to help fill out the room, but health will be a big story line for the talented tight end this season. Detailed in our PR Roundtable discussion as one of the Bucs players with the most to prove in training camp, he’s not off to a great start.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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1 month ago

I thought this was a 6 month injury in this day and age. I guess everyone heals differently but we are getting close to 10 months. It’s do or die for this guy. This has been a terrible first few years for a guy who was so highly touted. He better score 10 touchdowns this year. We need this guy to add another dimension to this offense.

Reply to  Buc76
1 month ago

Yeah I’m not sure on the time table for that injury. I don’t know if we need him we did ok without him last year, but I agree offense is better with him. Also agree this is do or die for him and Bucs. Also for other teams possibly if he doesn’t do much again.

Reply to  fredster
1 month ago

Who wants a player who has taken up residence on the trainers table.

1 month ago

This is just a precaution.

1 month ago

Shocking.. Howard still injured. The guy has squatters rights in the whirlpool. They should have made Howard take a cut in salary instead of Brate.

Reply to  drdneast
1 month ago

Yup. We pay Howard for potential, not production. His salary should have been cut.

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