The Bucs have now placed Casillas on IR, ending his season. In a related move, the Bucs have signed linebacker Danny Lansanah from the New York Jets practice squad according to Greg Auman.
More Big East football! Bucs have signed former UConn linebacker Danny Lansanah, who had been on Jets' practice squad. Casillas now on IR.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 4, 2013
The already thin Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacking corps just got even thinner with the news that Jonathan Casillas will likely miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano says LB Jonathan Casillas injured his knee Sunday and is likely done for the year. Likely requiring surgery.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) December 2, 2013
Casillas became the starter at the Sam position only a month ago, taking over from Dekoda Watson, who had under performed.
Casillas had 34 tackles in 12 games and also forced a fumble. He also contributed on special teams.
To replace him, the Bucs could move Watson back to linebacker after he had been playing as defensive end in recent weeks. Special teams captain Adam Hayward is another option, but he is more accustomed to playing middle linebacker.
Another option is give rookie Ka’Lial Glaud a shot. The undrafted rookie from Rutgers had three tackles in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. With the Bucs season already lost, it could be a good time to see what the rookie has.
The injury however does expose the lack of depth at linebacker for the Bucs, especially at the Sam position. The Bucs already have Lavonte David and Mason Foster fully entrenched as starters, but the Bucs sorely miss a quality Sam linebacker to join them.
While Casillas, who is on a one-year deal, has been a solid addition to the team, the Bucs need to find a player who can join the teams already elite linebacking corps for a substantial period of time. Whether they address that during the draft or free-agency is yet to be seen, but it is certainly a position of need for the Bucs.