Bowers returns to practice with Buccaneers

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Help could be on the way for Tampa Bay's erratic pass rush.

Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers practiced for the first time this season on Wednesday, opening a three-week window in which the Buccaneers will be able to evaluate the second-year pro and determine if he'll be able to return from a torn right Achilles tendon that's sidelined him since May.

The former Clemson star led the nation in sacks two years ago, and the Bucs selected him and Adrian Clayborn in the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL draft in hopes of bolstering one of the league's weakest pass rushes.

The 6-foot-4, 288-pound Bowers isn't making any predictions about when he could be ready to play in games, and coach Greg Schiano reiterated that Bucs will not rush him back.