When Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Alex Cappa fractured his ankle during the team's Wild Card round win over the Washington Football Team this past postseason, the third-year guard didn't quite know how serious the injury was at the moment.
"I thought it was just an ankle sprain," Cappa told local reporters Tuesday. "That's why I was trying to stay out there. I think I was down too long so the refs blew it dead and then I was mad because it was two minutes so it cost us a timeout. I thought I was going to be able to go out there and then I went inside with the training staff to try to tape it up, and I wasn't able to go."
Cappa missed the remainder of the Bucs' historic playoff run that resulted in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Since the start of the offseason, he's had time to recover and returned to the field for the first time Tuesday during the team's mandatory minicamp.
"It was great, it was a lot of fun," Capp said on returning to practice. "Fun to be back with everybody is the main thing. It was good to be out there. I felt good."
"I've been good for a while," Cappa explained. "The good thing is, you can take it slow in the offseason and make sure you get it right so I was able to do that. I feel great now."
Up until the ankle injury, he was having a great season helping protect veteran quarterback Tom Brady. Cappa did not allow a sack and gave up 29 quarterback pressures throughout the 2020 season, according to Pro Football Focus.
"I think it just takes time to develop sometimes," Cappa said on his performance this past season. "You've got to put in a lot of work... Get stronger, get more sound technically, and I'm always just trying to get better. Obviously, having Tom helps quite a bit on that one."
Following the ankle injury, third-year offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie filled in for Cappa throughout the rest of the playoffs, including the Super Bowl.
"He did a great job and it was awesome seeing him get in there and get the job done," Cappa said about Stinnie.
Cappa, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent next year, said there's not one part of his game that he's hoping to improve this year, instead, he's looking at it from a bigger picture.
"I think it's always trying to get better, really in all facets," Cappa said. "But really, you're trying to improve your whole game, whether you're good at something or you're not good at something. Just always working."
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' mandatory mini-camp, and other news and analysis.