Sears probably won't play this season

TAMPA -- Arron Sears is back with the Buccaneers, but don’t count on him playing in an NFL game this season.


General manager Mark Dominik just addressed the Tampa Bay media about Sears’ situation and said the team will proceed very slowly with the offensive guard who has been away from the Bucs since April while dealing with what the team has repeatedly referred to as a private matter.

Domink didn’t shed any more light on what that matter is Wednesday.

“I’ll let Arron talk more about that when’s comfortable talking about it,’’ Dominik said.

Dominik said Sears won’t address the media until next week at the earliest. Although he’s back with the team, he will not practice this week. He’ll work on his strength and conditioning. Domink described Sears’ conditioning as “not great."

The Bucs will have a two-week roster exemption for Sears. At the end of that two-week window, the Bucs will have the option of placing him on the 53-man roster or putting him on a reserve list for the rest of the season.

What are the chances of Sears playing this year?

“In my mind, it would be wishful thinking,’’ Dominik said.

But Dominik said he remains optimistic and hopeful that Sears will return to full playing status at some point. The likely goal is to let Sears focus on getting in shape and get him ready for next season.