When Quincy Black was injured against the San Diego Chargers, the Buccaneers knew almost right away that something was wrong. Black made impact in just the right way to obviously cause some damage to his neck or head. After the game, Coach Schiano admitted that it was a serious injury, and cause for concern. Black would later be added to the injured reserve, and reports would surface that he was struggling to regain the full use of his arm. The defense was bad enough in passing situations, and losing a key part of the linebacking corps did not help matters. However, this isn’t the usual “take the offseason and get better” kind of injury.
It appears that Black is not progressing well, and will require surgery. Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times has reported that the doctors are not seeing the natural regrowth they’d like to see, and the surgery will be aimed at inspiring regrowth of nerves. This is a concern not only for the Buccaneers as a football team, but for Black as a football player. Neck injuries can change or end careers, as we saw with Buccaneer legend Mike Alstott. The report from Holder says that Black is nowhere near ready to return to the field in his current state, and the hope is that the surgery will help him get close in time to play in the 2013 season.
Due to Black’s contract situation, it’s likely he would be released if he’s not in game shape heading into 2013. I took a liking to Black, and definitely want to see him stay in Tampa Bay. However, this is a business, and ultimately it doesn’t make business sense to pay a man millions of dollars to not play, when you could release him and pay a little over a million in total injury protection pay. The defense needs continuity, and Black was one of the more veteran guys on that side of the ball. I hope for Black’s sake and for the Bucs’ sake that Quincy makes a speedy and full recovery. However, it might be time to consider life without Black, because it’s clear that Coach Schiano was right when he told reporters after the game that it was a serious injury and a long term situation.
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