TE Patrick Hape was able to catch passes from the 'Jugs' gun, but not much else before Monday's foot surgery
Patrick Hape thought that Monday was his return to the field, but it ended up as a return to the doctor's office.
During an informal workout on April 4, the fourth-year Tampa Bay Buccaneer tight end suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot while planting and turning. Due to the lingering soreness in his foot caused by the break, Hape did not practice with the team during the mini-camp that followed the NFL Draft in mid-April nor the voluntary summer workouts that began in May, though he did continue with an off-season weight-training regimen.
On Monday, June 5, Hape was cleared for practice as the team began its fourth and final week of the summer sessions. His foot became sore again midway through the practice, however, and Hape did not finish the workout. Later that afternoon, he flew to Miami to meet with Dr. John Zvijac, the Buccaneers' orthopedic surgeon. He underwent surgery that very evening to have a screw placed in the foot to help set the fracture.
According to the Buccaneers' training staff, the procedure was done in order to ensure that Hape would be ready for training camp, which begins on July 23. It was thought that the fracture would respond to rest, but when the healing had obviously not progressed as rapidly as was hoped, Hape and the team quickly decided on a new direction.
Tampa Bay's Head Trainer Todd Toriscelli reported on Tuesday that the operation was performed successfully and that Hape was expected to be fully prepared for training camp in July.