Da'Quan Bowers' disappointing career with the Bucs could be nearing an end.

Bowers, the oft-injured defensive lineman, is nursing a groin strain that's now hurting his chances of making the team, coach Lovie Smith said.

Bowers, who had three tackles (including one for a loss) and a quarterback hit in the preseason opener at Jacksonville, did not play last Saturday against the Dolphins and hasn't practiced in more than a week. It's uncertain whether he will play Saturday at Buffalo.

Smith said Wednesday he believes Bowers has the ability to play in the NFL, but he stopped short of guaranteeing it would be with the Bucs.