Da'Quan Bowers is back - earlier than expected, and already making a difference for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Activated last week off the 'physically unable to perform' list, the former Clemson All-American contributed to the pass rush in third-down situations last week during the Bucs' 36-17 victory over the Miinesota Vikings.
Bowers had been sidelined since May, when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a workout.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano has a plan for working Bowers back into the Bucs' defensive line mix.
"I think it was a really good start for him,'' Schiano told TampaBay.com after Bowers played about dozen third-down snaps against Minnesota last Thursday. "I thought it was the best way to start to get him acclimated back into the game.''
Schiano hopes to transition Bowers into playing 3-4 consecutive plays in this week's game against Oakland.
He said that in Monday's practice, Bowers "did a little more... He got in there on first and second down a little bit...He went for some three-play sequences, which is good. Now, we are taking the next step, and that's playing back-to-back-to-back plays
"He does have a positive pop to him that is good to have back.''
Some notes from last week's NFL games:
Andre Branch had a quarterback sack, forced a fumble, and recovered a fumble in Jacksonville's 24-15 loss to Green Bay.
Dwayne Allen had four receptions for 56 yards in the Colts' 19-13 win over Tennessee. Teammate Kavell Conner made four tackles, including one for a loss of yardage. For the Titans, Jamie Harper carried once for a one-yard loss, while Coty Sensabaugh made two tackles.
Leroy Hill had two tackles, including a sack, in Seattle's 28-24 loss to Detroit.
Marcus Gilchrist made one stop in San Diego's 7-6 loss to Cleveland