Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers underwent successful surgery on his torn Achilles' tendon, the club announced on Friday.
Bowers tore the Achilles while working out on the field at the team's facility on Thursday and underwent surgery in Coral Cables, Florida this morning. Bowers thanked his Twitter followers for their support after the operation.
"Thanks everyone for the check up and encouragement I really appreciate you all, ESP #BUCSNATION and my #clemson fam," Bowers wrote.
Last night, Bowers announced on Twitter that he planned to play in 2012 and, depending on the severity of the tear, that is a possibility given that the outer marker of a standard recovery time window falls during the 2012 season. There's also precedent a player returning from a torn Achilles within a six-month time frame, as Buccaneers long-snapper Andrew Economos tore one last off-season and returned for the final nine games of 2011.
That said, there is a big difference between a long-snapper coming back a torn Achilles to play 60 snaps total over the final nine games and a pass-rushing defensive end coming back from a torn Achilles to 40+ snaps per game. Bowers turned 22 less than three months ago and has a bright future ahead of him. To put into perspective how young a player he is, look at it this way: Bowers is four months younger then University of Georgia LB/DE Jarvis Jones, the top-rated pass-rusher on Mel Kiper's "Big Board" for the 2013 NFL Draft. (Subscription required. Sorry.) The second-rated player on Kiper's list is LSU's Barkevious Mingo, who (in addition to being a future member of the NFL's All-Name team) was born in the same calendar year as Bowers.