Buccaneers RB Charles Sims returns to practice
TAMPA, Fla. -- Good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beleaguered rush offense: Charles Sims is nearing a comeback.
The rookie running back, taken as the 69th overall pick, returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since being placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list Sept. 3. The West Virginia product sustained a right ankle injury in August and needed surgery that was estimated to keep him out 12 to 14 weeks at the time. Sims, 24, can return for the Bucs' matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9.
He looked comfortable in the open portion of practice Wednesday when participating in position drills. The Bucs have struggled on the ground this season, ranking 28th in the NFL by averaging 89.8 yards per game. Bobby Rainey leads Tampa Bay with just 262 yards and one touchdown on 54 carries.
Sims had six carries for 13 yards and three catches for 32 yards in the preseason before sustaining the injury.
"He's not there yet," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. "But it’s a process we go through with him.
"The first step to coming back 100 percent was getting him on the football field today. He stayed up with the game mentally, watching video and doing all the things you can without actually practicing. But it’s different. And he’s been running off to the side and things like that. But you’re not there with your teammates making a cut, knowing that a guy could possibly land on the foot. It’s a little bit different. So this is a big step for him today."