The scariest moment of Sunday’s win over the Chargers was when linebacker Quincy Black took a helmet-to-helmet shot from running back Ryan Mathews, and proceeded to thump to the turf motionless. To make things worse he was even accidentally kicked in the back of the head after he was down, but the damage was likely already done.
The extent of said damage is not fully known at this time, but we do know what isn’t the problem: Black’s spine.
In his Monday press conference, Greg Schiano noted that although Black’s injury is indeed a serious one, it’s not his spine that is causing him problems, rather he’s having issues with nerve damage.
“The spine is fine. That stuff. It’s just nerves and things coming off.” Schiano said. “I don’t want to say too much because I’m not even exactly sure because I’d hate to misspeak. But I do know that it needs some further tests to get right to the bottom of it and there’s some really smart, good doctors that are working on it right now for Quincy which makes me feel good that we’re going to get him the best care and get the best solution and get him back to being well.”
Black was evaluated further on Monday and it was revealed that he’s having problems moving his left arm voluntarily. This points directly at nerve damage, but the extent of the damage is a mystery.
What is likely not going to be a mystery for long is Black’s playing status. While the Bucs have yet to make an announcement on how long he’ll be out, Black will likely be placed on IR when the full results of the tests being run on him come back. With seven games left in the season, there is no reason Black should step foot on a football field in pads again this year.
But the next logical question (or the first when a serious neck injury is suffered) is how will this effect his career. This is his livelihood, and we’re not about to speculate that Black’s career is over — and judging from Schiano’s response, it likely isn’t — but the question is still being asked, even if there is an ambiguous answer.
When Black heads to IR he’ll join Davin Joseph, Adrian Clayborn, Anthony Gaitor and Carl Nicks as Bucs players to have been place on the list. Gaitor is on the revokable IR and will return this year, but of all the injuries suffered this year, Black’s is without a doubt the worst.
Further testing is being done on Black and we will have more updates on his condition as we learn them.