Will Bowers be back in 2012? (Getty Images)

Buccaneers' defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, the former Clemson star taken in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, has suffered a torn Achilles tendon while participating in the team's offseason program, the Bucs reported via Twitter Thursday afternoon.

In the weeks and months leading up to last year's draft, Bowers was considered a first-round pick, (and at points, a likely top-overall selection). Because of lingering concerns about a knee injury, he lasted until pick No. 51. As a rookie, he played in 16 games (starting six), and registered 25 tackles, four passes defended and 1.5 sacks.

In his 2011 draft grades, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco called Bucs' selection of Bowers the Bucs' best pick, adding that it "will be a huge steal if the medical holds up. I love the risk. Wow."

Meanwhile, the well-wishes are flooding Bowers' Twitter feed. And the second-year player sounds like he has designs on playing this season.

It would certainly make for a great story. For now, the organization has released just-signed former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson to make room for defensive lineman Myles Wade, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Scott Purks. Wade was orginally expected to be waived to make room for wideout Tiquan Underwood.

Michael Bennett, Bowers' likely replacement, played at a high level last season, but it does leave the Bucs without much depth at the position.  

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