NEW YORK, United States (AFP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened their National Football League 2013 pre-season training camp — workouts that kick off a gridiron journey which will culminate in next February’s Super Bowl.
Only 50 days after the Bucs’ rookies arrived at camp, the NFL season is slated to open with the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens playing at Denver.
The reigning champions typically open at home but the Ravens were booked into a road opener after Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles refused to move their home game at a ballpark adjacent to the Ravens’ stadium.
The Buccaneers, who host their practice sessions at the team’s Florida headquarters, announced that kicker Connor Barth will miss the entire season after surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon.
Tampa Bay signed a one-year deal with Lawrence Tynes, who helped the New York Giants win two Super Bowls in six seasons with the club. Tynes has made 190 of 233 field goal kicks for the Giants and Kansas City in 129 career games.
“We are disappointed to lose a productive player like Connor but are very fortunate to be able to sign an experienced kicker at this time of year,” Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said.
The New Orleans Saints were set to follow by opening workouts on Thursday with the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns to open pre-season practice on Friday.
While newcomers, free agents and college draft choices will report in the opening days of workouts, it will be the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins who welcome the first veteran players to camp on Saturday.