The Buccaneers added a young offensive lineman on Wednesday morning, providing a depth for one of the few position groups that has been thinned by injuries so far.
Guard J.R. Sweezy, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent in March, started camp on the active/PUP list and has not yet returned to action. Since then, the team has seen rookie lineman Caleb Benenoch sidelined by a lower leg injury that will keep him "out for a while," according to Head Coach Dirk Koetter. In addition, veteran tackle Gosder Cherilus has already been given one "veteran's day" off and could get more in the weeks to come.
Pictures from the Buccaneers' training camp practice on Wednesday.
Sweezy's return would be welcome, since he was signed to take over for the retired Logan Mankins as the starting left guard. However, in his absence versatile third-year man Kevin Pamphile has settled in at that spot with the first team. Koetter and his staff are very comfortable with Pamphile on the field, particularly after he turned in a strong game during a brief absence by Mankins last year.
"Kevin Pamphile was disappointed when we signed J.R. Sweezy to come in and fill that spot," said Koetter. "He was in the tank for a few days. I said, 'Look man, you're very valuable, you're versatile, we need you,' and here he is right off the bat filling in at the starting left guard. And if we had to play today we'd feel fine about that. Kevin can go pretty much across the line and start for us. It's a blessing."