The Buccaneers were hoping to have all of their players report to training camp at One Buccaneer Place Friday.
Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, that wasn't the case.
Bucs left guard Arron Sears did not report to training camp in Tampa today. The Bucs were hopeful he would be able to report, but his absence doesn't necessarily come as a surprise.
Sears, 24, missed nearly all of Tampa Bay's organized team activities this offseason with what the team has deemed a "private matter."
A 2007 second-round pick, Sears' absence from the team's mandatory mini-camp in June was excused. On Friday, the Bucs placed Sears on the reserve/did-not-report list. The Bucs aren't sure if Sears will be able to report to training camp at this point.
"I'm not sure. As of now we've put him on the reserve/did-not-report list," said Bucs general manager Mark Dominik. "Right now he's able to come, but we're leaving that door open right now. If he comes and reports Arron would count against our 80-man roster limit, but right now he doesn't."
Sears has started 31 games for the Bucs during his NFL career. He has been replaced by second-year G Jeremy Zuttah in the starting lineup.
Dominik, who said Sears would not be fined for his absence, suggested the Bucs were more concerned about Sears the person than Sears the player.
"It's been a while [since I spoke with Arron], but I've been in constant contact with his agent. I actually spoke to him this morning to let him know what we were going to do if he did not report.
"There is no frustration. For us, I'm not frustrated. I'm just looking out for Arron and we're hoping everything comes together for him and that he reports. That's probably the best way to say it. We want to be there to support him, and that's the most important thing from our standpoint, and there's no frustration on my part."
Zuttah, a 2008 third-round pick, started five games for the Bucs as a rookie. His teammates have expressed confidence in his ability to fill in for Sears, whose status and well being remain a mystery.
“I’m really excited about Zuttah," said Bucs head coach Raheem Morris. "I’m really excited about the guys playing around him. We talked about this from the beginning. We talked about dealing with adversity. When people didn’t show up for OTA days … and having people step up and have a chance to evaluate those players. The sky is not falling because one man did not show up on this team. We’re going to keep going. Everybody wants to make it happen. There are high expectations on everybody.”