One of the Buccaneers most notable offseason signings will likely be missing the first five weeks of the season. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Bucs are expected to place offensive guard J.R. Sweezy on the physically unable to perform list. Sweezy has been battling a back ailment, and Stroud says the injury is “troublesome enough” to place the 27-year-old on the PUP.
The Buccaneers added Sweezy in March, inking him to a five-year, $32.5MM ($14.5MM guaranteed) contract. The offensive guard had spent his entire four-year career in Seattle, where he had settled into the starting right guard role. With left guard Logan Mankins retiring, the Buccaneers were in the market for offensive line help. Stroud writes that Sweezy actually turned down a similar deal from the Seahawks in order to join Tampa Bay.
After signing that deal, the lineman had surgery to repair a herniated disk, and a recent second opinion provided Sweezy with some optimism.
“Just went and got it checked out. Everything is good. I’m on track,’’ Sweezy said (via Stroud). “I’m taking it day by day and trying to get back to where I need to be to play at the level I need to play at.’’
However, as Stroud notes, the Buccaneers want to protect their investment, and they want to assure that Sweezy is 100-percent before he takes the field. The writer cites the team’s mishandling of lineman Carl Nicks as a reason for caution. Third-year lineman Kevin Pamphile will likely slot in as the team’s starting left guard during Sweezy’s absence.