The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed J.R. Sweezy to a five-year, $32.5 million contract to replace the retired Logan Mankins, but they haven’t exactly been able to enjoy his work so far: Sweezy has been sidelined with a back injury this entire offseason. That injury isn’t going away, and head coach Dirk Koetter said today that Sweezy is seeing a doctor in California, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Charles Sims and Vincent Jackson also missed today’s practice, but neither is expected to be out for long. Whether they can participate in Thursday night’s preseason game remains to be seen, though.
If Sweezy’s injury keeps him out into the regular season, the Bucs at least have a good replacement ready in Kevin Pamphile, who returned to practice today after attending private family matters for a few days. Pamphile shined at left guard in limited time last season, and shouldn’t represent a big downgrade from Sweezy.
Still, having one of your top free agent additions sidelined the entire offseason with a back injury isn’t exactly conducive to a good start to the year. Especially so because Sweezy comes from the Seattle Seahawks and their zone-blocking oriented scheme, which is a little different from most teams’ blocking schemes, including the Bucs’. There’s certainly some overlap, but Sweezy is going to have to learn new techniques, new calls, and new adjustments — and he’ll have only a few weeks to practice them before the season starts, if that.