The first major injury of the season has struck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it happened to someone who the team had big plans for.
Charles Sims, the Bucs’ third round pick from the 2014 NFL Draft, was projected to be the team’s backup/third down running back this season. But after injuring his ankle in practice, Sims will need surgery to repair the damage done. According to the team, the recovery period for such a surgery is 12-14 weeks, meaning it is likely Sims will miss over half of the 2014 campaign.
While this is terrible news for the team, this is great news for the other running backs on the Buccaneer roster. With the team having so much depth at the position, guys like Bobby Rainey, Mike James and Jeff Demps can breathe a little bit easier, knowing that their likelihood of making the final 53-man squad has increased by a large margin.
The ugly part of this, however, is the criticism the team will likely receive.
If you recall, the Buccaneers chose Charles Sims in the third round after most fans and draft experts were sure that the team would draft a guard. Now, here we are months later and Tampa Bay is still in need of starting guards, while the running back position seems deep despite Sims’ injury. His ailing ankle also hinders the prospect that the Buccaneers could trade one of their running backs for a guard before the start of the season.
Moving back to the topic of running backs, the team now has to hope that their current group of backs will improve upon their ability to catch the football out of the backfield. That was one of the big factors in drafting Sims, as it is a skill that is coveted in Jeff Tedford’s offense.
The Pewter Plank would like to wish Charles Sims a speedy recovery.