Training camp starts this week and players take the field on Friday.
However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without a few key members on the defensive side of the ball for the duration of training camp and possibly the beginning of the regular season.
Bowers, who was a second-round pick last year, suffered a torn Achilles' heel in the offseason. He and the Bucs are hopeful that he can return at some point during the regular season but that may be a tall order. Bowers had 1.5 sacks as a rookie last season and was supposed to be an opening day starter.
Okoye was signed to provide depth at the defensive tackle position behind oft-injured starters Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. He is also expected to push for some major playing time behind those two. However, Okoye had to undergo knee surgery last month and he isn't ready to return yet.
Hayward, who was the Bucs' Man of the Year winner in 2010, has had a lingering foot injury since last season. The sixth-year veteran is a valuable special teams player and can play all three linebacker positions.
All three players can come off the PUP list at any time prior to the regular season. Once the regular season starts though, they must sit out the first six games before joining the active roster.
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