In a match-up that was already going to create problems, the Buccaneers will be without their two best defensive players.
Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David have been two of the bright spots for the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, for the first time since they’ve been teammates, both will miss the same game. McCoy will be sidelined with a biceps injury – the same injury that derailed the first two seasons of McCoy‘s career – while David will miss with a hamstring issue.
Hamstring issues have been a major problem for the Buccaneers this year. Vernon Hargreaves is missing his fifth consecutive game with a hamstring injury while Kwon Alexander, Josh Robinson, Demar Dotson, Robert McClain, Adarius Glanton, and Lavonte for the second time have all dealt with hamstring issues causing most of them to miss at least one game.
The worst part about David missing is the level at which he’s played this season. If it weren’t for the Bucs’ abysmal 4-9 record, David would be a slam dunk Pro Bowl selection and First Team All-Pro. This has been arguably his best year in the NFL and no one seems to notice because the team as a whole is so bad.
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The McCoy haters club will be excited to see the defensive line without him Monday night. However, those of us that understand all that McCoy does for this team and this defense realize it’s essentially a death sentence. Without McCoy clogging up two to three offensive linemen, Matt Ryan will have an eternity to throw the ball, likely leading to another monster game from Julio Jones.
In a game where the Bucs faced a terrible offensive line in the Detroit Lions, a line that was on pace to let Matthew Stafford get sacked for the most times in his career, the Bucs’ defensive line never even touched him. Three quarterback hurries, no hits, no sacks. Gerald McCoy left the game in the first quarter. Coincidence? Hardly.
The prime time match-up was already an uphill battle. Now, missing the two defensive captains and two of the best players on the roster, the Buccaneers are facing an impossible challenge.