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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs LB Casillas: Didn’t make trip after ‘I made a mistake’

— Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jonathan Casillas participated in practice Monday and said he didn’t expect any lingering effects after violating an unspecified team rule violation that kept him from making the trip to Buffalo over the weekend.

Casillas, listed as the starting strong-side linebacker, was left behind in Tampa when the Bucs departed Friday afternoon for Saturday’s preseason game.

“I violated a team rule,’’ said Casillas, a six-year veteran who signed as a free agent in March 2013. “It’s not something I’m happy about, but a mistake was made and punishment was dealt. It’s tough because I don’t want to miss a game or be a person labeled as someone who violates team rules.’’

Casillas, 27, was asked if he failed to appear somewhere he was supposed to be at One Buc Place.

‘That’s basically what it was,’’ he said. “If anybody knows me, my track record speaks for itself. I’m not a person who violates a code of conduct. I take full responsibility for everything I do, on the field and off the field. I think it was handled appropriately and I’m back to work today (Monday), looking to get better.’’

Bucs coach Lovie Smith addressed the discipline in postgame remarks following Tampa Bay’s 27-14 victory over the Bills.

“Me and Lovie had an open line of communication the entire time,’’ Casillas said Monday. “We talked again today. This is a respectable organization, and when stuff like this happens, consequences will be dealt. That’s where we stand. There’s nothing that’s going to carry on and bring about repercussions besides what happened already.

“It was a bit of miscommunication on my behalf. It was my mistake and, moving forward, I think I’ve got a lot better understanding. It happened here (Tampa), and I didn’t really think it was that big of an issue. Of course, the team did. I made a mistake, a bad mental decision on my behalf. It happens. I’m not perfect. I try and do the right things here.”

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