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Bucs GM: History with injured players offers hope for Bowers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik wouldn't project how many games or years rookie Da'Quan Bowers will play because of longevity concerns spurred by medical reports on his surgically repaired knee -- Bowers is expected to open the season at left defensive end -- but he provided an interesting take on the defensive end out of Clemson.

He said running back Cadillac Williams tore patellar tendons in both knees and a lot of people never thought he would return, but he "loved the game so much" that he did everything he could to get on the field. In speaking to some players on the team over the past year, I can tell you first hand that Williams set an inspiring example.

Dominick also said similar things about Kellen Winslow -- the tight end's passion for the game has helped him fight through chronic knee issues to deliver on Sundays.

The Bucs swiped Bowers -- once considered a prospect for the No. 1 overall choice before his medical concerns dropped him into the second round -- with the 51st pick after using their first-round selection on Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

Though he's yet to watch coaches work with Bowers because of the lockout, Dominik thinks Bowers shares similar football DNA as Williams and Winslow.

"The (medical) issues might be there but sometimes you have to try and judge the player, who that player is and his passion," Dominik said. "We spent some time with Da'Quan and we're banking on him because of what he seems like he's about."

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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