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Demar Dotson injury: Buccaneers tackle hopes to be back in six weeks

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers initially feared that Demar Dotson may be out for a year with a torn ACL, but they (and Dotson) got lucky: Dotson suffered 'just' a torn MCL, which should see him back by at least midseason. And Dotson himself is a lot more optimistic, telling the Tampa Bay Times that he hopes to be back at practice in six weeks.

"It's not an ACL tear, and that's good news. I was afraid of that," said Dotson, walking on crutches and watching practice from the sidelines. "A lot of people were praying and you appreciate everybody's prayers. Hopefully I'll get a chance to come back out here within six weeks or so. That's the plan. We're going to rehab it like crazy so I can get a chance to come back out here and finish this season."

In the best-case scenario, Dotson would only have to miss the first three games of the season, though it's more likely that he'll miss five or six -- being able to return to practice and being able to play well in a game are two very different things, after all. And with Gosder Cherilus on the roster, the team has no real reason to force Dotson' early return.

Still, this is good news. The Bucs will only have to suit up without their best offensive lineman for a handful of games.