Quick, name the Bucs’ long-snapper… If you said Andrew Economos you’re right, but I’d guess more than a few Bucs fans would be hard-pressed to name him. That’s actually the sign of a solid long-snapper, you really shouldn’t notice him, any headline about Economos is typically a bad one. Thus is the life of an NFL long-snapper. That’s why it’s not good for Economos to be in the news right now, fortunately he didn’t get into any trouble, but he did tear his Achilles tendon somehow this off-season and that may prevent the 28 year-old from playing in his sixth NFL season.
The Bucs signed Economos to five year, 4-million dollar extension in 2008, Mark Dominik revealed the injury at his press conference on Thursday. The Bucs aren’t allowed to have contact with their players until the lockout is lifted, so they will have no idea as to Economos’ status until NFL business resumes.
What’s more disconcerting is the effect this could have on the unofficial workouts currently being organized by Josh Freeman in Tampa. Suffice it to say Economos is hardly insured of having a job when the lockout stops, he may not even be insured at all. That means right now Economos is on his own rehabbing an injury and the Bucs will likely cast him aside when the season starts. The other Bucs players are at least somewhat aware of that reality, and if you’re marginal or young, what incentive do you now have to go push yourself in the off-season and risk injury?
Jeff Faine noted that Josh Freeman would have challenges organizing practices during a lockout, this ties into that. Getting injured right now could be detrimental to a player’s career, the NFLPA continues to preach that the players need to protect themselves. Protecting yourself in Tampa may mean not risking injury now.