Usually, we try to build up clues for a couple weeks before revealing one of our players, but some extenuating circumstances have pushed the timeline up a week. We will now learn the identity of *drum roll please* …Player C a.k.a. John Franklin III.
The reason for the reveal is a somber one, as Franklin was injured in practice last week and placed by the team on Injured Reserve. It means he will not be able to re-join the Bucs at any point in 2020, shutting his season down. Learn more about Franklin below.
First, we'll give more clues as to our other two mystery players.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.
Player A: Head Coach Bruce Arians has gone on record saying Player A has been making plays every day. He may be young, but Player A is playing beyond his years in practice. With the way Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles substitutes players in and out, there always ends up being a good mix of players – whether starters, backups or reserves – on the field at once.
This has benefitted Player A immensely. Plus, Player A isn't just a one-trick pony. He assumes a variety of roles on his side of the ball. And it means he's had to go against quarterback Tom Brady and the first-team offense quite a bit.
"It's been a crazy experience," Player A said. "Going up and practicing against [Brady] every day is wild to me still. It's great work and it's getting me better, so I'm enjoying it."
He went on:
"He's been in the league as long as I've been alive," Player A continued. "I'm 22 years old – he's pretty much been in the league my entire life. It's crazy that he's still able to do what he does at his age. It's ridiculous."
Think you know?
The sweltering Florida heat is enough for anyone to have to adjust to. Heck, I'm just standing out at practice and I find my Apple Watch thinking I'm working out. I guess players aren't the only ones who have spent the last couple weeks getting back into football shape, which is its own very specific thing. Just ask Player B.
"Just trying to get the playbook completely down and get fully back in the routine," Player B said of his goals for this training camp. "As far as when it comes to ball, you have to get your pad level right. You have to get back in football shape because football shape is completely different than being in regular shape. So just trying to get all that down in these couple of weeks before our first game. That's my main focus."
And when he says in the next couple weeks, he means it. The Bucs' season opener is just 20 days, a.k.a. less than three weeks, away.
For a little bit more of a peek into Player B's personality, when asked what I would currently find on his Netflix account, he laughed.
"Oh, that's a funny one."
"Warrior Nun. It's new on Netflix. It's actually all right!"
I think I might just take your word for it, Player B.
Who has a guess?
Player C: And now the big reveal. Player C is wide receiver John Franklin III, who unfortunately suffered a knee injury last week during practice. Franklin had been having a great camp as he settled in at wide receiver. If you remember, last year the Bucs signed him as a defensive back.
He was a quarterback in college, too. That allowed the Bucs to explore little gadget plays with Franklin during practice but unfortunately, we won't get to see them attempt it in a game this season. With Franklin on IR as mentioned above, he will be out for the 2020 season.
Here's to wishing Franklin a speedy recovery. If his rehab is anything like his offseason training schedule was, it will be rigorous and he should come back better than ever.