The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin their training camp practices on Friday but a handful of young players will have to wait a little longer to get on the field.
Justin Evans, who started 19 games at safety over his first two seasons, has been placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list to starting training camp, as have inside linebacker Jack Cichy, outside linebacker David Kenney and wide receiver Xavier Ubosi. Additionally, rookie quarterback Nick Fitzgerald will begin camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list.
Players on both the Active/PUP and Active/NFI lists can be activated and begin practicing at any point before the roster cutdown to 53 at the end of the preseason. While they are on those lists, they do count against the 90-man roster limit. The purpose of placing players on these lists at the start of camp is that it gives the team the later option of placing them on the Reserve/PUP or NFI lists at the start of the regular season, if necessary.
Evans, the Buccaneers' second-round pick in 2017, started the first 10 games of the 2018 season but finished it on injured reserve due to a toe injury. He did not practice during the team's offseason program. When he does return to the field he will be part of a crowded battle for starting spots along with the likes of third-round rookie Mike Edwards, second-year player Jordan Whitehead and free agent acquisition Kentrell Brice.
Cichy also finished last season, his rookie campaign, on injured reserve due to a torn ACL suffered in his sixth game. He, too, was held out of offseason workouts. Kenney, Ubosi and Fitzgerald were all signed this spring as rookie free agents. Fitzgerald will be an interesting story upon his return to the practice field assuming he continues to see reps at quarterback, tight end and on special teams.