One of the most disappointing aspects of this NFL training camp for the Tampa Bay coaching staff has been the inability to see much of rookie tight end Luke Stocker.
The Bucs traded up 12 spots in the fourth round of the draft for Stocker, a former University of Tennessee star out of Madison Southern. He had been sidelined since the first practice with a hip injury, but Stocker participated in portions of practice Sunday for the first time, the team easing him back into the fold.
"It's been extremely frustrating," Stocker said. "I got here and, with the lockout, I never really had an opportunity to meet the coaches or be with my teammates. I didn't get a chance to show what I can do. Then, in the first practice I get hurt and I have to sit out.
"But everything's going a lot faster than planned. I'm on a really good track and I'm really close to getting back."
Bucs Coach Raheem Morris said he did not expect Stocker to play Thursday against the Patriots and called his status week to week.