- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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With the first minicamp over, let’s take a look at whose stock is on the way up and whose is on the way down.
Carl Nicks. Although the team had said before the minicamp that there was optimism Nicks would be ready to go, he wasn’t. He still is recovering from a toe injury that sidelined him almost all of last season. Nicks said he’s making progress in his recovery and he expects to be ready for training camp. But Nicks also admitted he has nerve damage in his foot and may have to play through pain the rest of his career. It’s time to start wondering if Nicks will be the same player he was before the injury.
Luke Stocker. There’s no clear-cut starter at tight end and Stocker should be in the mix. But he was sidelined with an unspecified injury. Stocker missed most of last year with an injury. He may already have fallen behind Brandon Myers and Tim Wright on the depth chart.
Da'Quan Bowers. He didn’t take part in drills as he recovers from an unspecified injury. Some players can afford to miss minicamp. Bowers isn’t one of them. The defensive end might have trouble even making the regular-season roster.
Chris Owusu. The Bucs have a glaring need at wide receiver and Owusu used the minicamp to show he can contribute. He’s not in line for a starting job, but could end up as the third, fourth or fifth receiver.
Josh McCown. Tampa Bay’s new quarterback looked exceptionally sharp. His passes were very accurate and he seemed to have a good grasp of the new offense. McCown already is well on the way to establishing himself as a team leader.
Bobby Rainey. The backup running back isn’t a threat to beat out Doug Martin. But Rainey might be on his way to earning some playing time. Rainey looked very good in the minicamp and showed some signs he can contribute as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.