Bell is eager to to prove himself in 2016 after spending his rookie season on injured reserve, Scott Smith of the Bucs' official site reports.
A mid-August 2015 hamstring injury completely derailed the Nebraska product's rookie campaign, but he refused to remain out of the loop. Bell continued attending meetings and was involved in as many day-to-day activities as possible. The sophomore wideout was even allowed to travel with the team for road games, allowing him to immerse himself as much as possible into then-offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's system. That experience could pay off for the 24-year-old in the coming months, as he battles for a spot on the roster. "Going through camp and going through everything I was pretty familiar with the offense," said Bell. "So the playbook has never been too big of an issue. What I'm more focused on is the reps. That's where you garner respect in this game. The guys I'm sure enjoy having me around, I like to think I'm a good guy and I like to have fun, but the way you really garner respect from the team, from coaches, from guys that play this game, is playing on Sundays." With veteran receiver Louis Murphy likely out until training camp while he recovers from last year's ACL surgery, Bell will have an opportunity for additional reps at a minimum for the remainder of OTAs and the Bucs' mini-camps. Koetter has also mentioned Bell as a candidate for the Bucs' open kick-returner job, and the former Cornhusker also has gunner experience on punt returns over his four college seasons.
Jackson is excited about the physical and mental progress that Jameis Winston has made this offseason, Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune reports.
The 33-year-old receiver, entering the final year of his contract, expressed considerable optimism about the progress he sees his sophomore quarterback having made over the last few months. That improvement has been holistic in the eyes of Jackson, who hopes that Winston's expected development helps lead to a resurgent season for himself. "You can tell he actually put in some work, and not just physically but mentally, as well,'' Jackson said Wednesday, the second day of Tampa Bay's voluntary minicamp. "I think he put in a lot of time in the classroom and continued to just clean up his quarterback skills.'' The veteran wideout's streak of four consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns came to a halt last season due to Jackson missing a total of six games due to injury, but he is fully recovered and practicing without restriction at Bucs mini-camp this week. Having scored just five touchdowns over 26 games during the 2014-15 seasons, the 12-year pro will look to join fellow starter Mike Evans in boosting his trips into the end zone in 2016.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said Murphy (knee) won't be on the field until training camp, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.
Murphy tore his ACL in late October, finishing the 2015 season with a 10-198-0 receiving line (18 targets) in six games. Though he mostly served as Tampa Bay's No. 3 wide receiver prior to the injury, Murphy may have to compete for a roster spot in training camp, if he's even healthy enough to suit up. With 33-year-old Vincent Jackson entering the final year of his contract, the Bucs could target a wide receiver in the early rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.
Wright (undisclosed) will be placed on injured reserve this week, NFL Network's Rand Getlin reports.
Wright opened the season as a starter, but his Week 1 injury gave Chris Conte a chance to shine. Hobbled by injuries for much of the year, Wright finished with just 25 tackles and three passes defensed in nine appearances. He is under contract for 2016, whereas Conte's deal expires at the end of the season. The Bucs might also opt to look outside of the organization for a starting safety to pair with Bradley McDougald.
Ellison suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 17, leaving him uncertain for the start of the 2017 season. He's been useful to the Vikings as a blocker, but with just 42 receptions in 58 career appearances, Ellison has never emerged as a key part of the passing game.
Exum (ribs) has been placed on injured reserve, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
The Vikings have dealt with a ridiculous string of injuries at the safety position over the past few weeks, allowing Exum to make a couple of starts. The team is now left with Harrison Smith (knee/hamstring), Robert Blanton (knee), Andrew Sendejo (knee) and newly-signed Anthony Harris.
Joseph (foot) will have toe surgery during the offseason, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports
This shouldn't come as any surprise, given that Joseph dealt with a foot injury throughout the entire second half of the season. He missed Weeks 12-16, but with 56 tackles in just 12 games, Joseph cemented his reputation as one of the league's better run-stopping interior linemen. He only has 12.5 sacks in 81 career games.