The Bucs may have trashed the New England Patriots pretty badly Friday night, but it ended up being a tragically classic case of winning the battle but losing the war — badly.
Tonight’s game in Tampa was brutal for the Bucs in terms of injuries. First Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn were taken out of the game and sent to the locker room early with injuries and then in the second quarter the A-bomb dropped when offensive lineman Davin Joseph crumbled to the grass and had to be carted off the field.
On the play, Joseph appeared to roll over himself — and whenever you hear that its usually a really bad thing. Gerald McCoy rolled on himself last year in a game against the 49ers and he was done for the season.
Early word (or should I say speculation from the locker room) is that Joseph is done for the season, likely with a torn ACL or some sort of tear in his knee. The official diagnosis isn’t yet known, as Joseph is undergoing further testing, but at this point it’s generally acknowledged that Joseph has suffered something serious that will keep him out for at least half the season.
And that’s best case scenario.
If Joseph is indeed done for the year, or even just a significant portion of it, any hopes the Bucs had of being a dominant force behind their offensive line just got violently derailed. Coach Greg Schiano addressed the injury after the game.
“It doesn’t look good, but we’ll get an evaluation tomorrow. He’s one of our leaders–if not our leader.”
One of the jewels the Bucs have been showing off the NFL has been their offensive line, led by Joseph and free agent acquisition Carl Nicks. With Joseph now down and out (for at the very least this game), backup Ted Larsen is going to take his spot. It will be Larsen who likely takes the Pro Bowler’s spot on the line as the season progresses.
Ian Rapoport tweeted after the game that a source with knowledge of Joseph’s condition says the Pro Bowler is out for the season and will be headed to IR as soon as this weekend.
UPDATE: Channel 10 in Tampa is reporting that Joseph has a broken knee cap and will miss three months. It’s unlikely that Joseph will be ready until at least December and the postion the Bucs are in at that time will really determine how fast he returns to action.