Pewter Report continues to delve into the mysterious absence of Buccaneers starting left guard Arron Sears from the team’s voluntary OTAs (organized team activities). Based on new information from talking to a third source, it is believed that Sears is dealing with a psychological issue – possibly depression – rather than a neurological issue stemming from concussions as previously reported.

In its last update, Pewter Report speculated on the Sears situation resembling that of former Bucs safety John Howell, who missed the 2003 training camp after dealing with clinical depression. Based on new information, Pewter Report believes now more ever that Sears may have a similar issue as two sources have confirmed this.

The team has not talked publicly about Sears’ medical issues, with Bucs head coach Raheem Morris only telling reporters last week that the issue was “personal and private.”

“Obviously, we are all concerned about Arron,” Morris said. “Realistically, it’s a private matter. I would respect Arron enough not to even talk about that. I’ll leave it as concerned and as a private matter. … When you talk about those things you kind of shy away and leave it alone. Just be concerned – like we all are.”

Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik has not been made available to comment on the Sears matter, either.

Sears did suffer a concussion last year, and a Bucs source recently revealed that he did have more than the one that was reported on the injury report. But based on the information that has been gathered, Pewter Report can report that Sears did not suffer any concussions during the offseason program and we do not believe that Sears’ absence is related to concussions at all, based on the conversations with two sources.

When asked when Sears, who has been absent since the voluntary mini-camp during the first week of June, would be ready to rejoin the team, Pewter Report’s latest and third source said that he wasn’t sure if he would be back by training camp if at all.

Both the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune reported last week that Sears was back home in Russellville, Ala., appearing briefly at a football camp at Russellville High School.

Jeremy Zuttah, Tampa Bay’s third-round pick last year, is currently occupying the left guard position and figures to be the starter for the Buccaneers unless Sears shows up to training camp mentally fit and ready to compete for his job.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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