Injuries have taken their toll on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. They have caused even more trouble for a team that didn’t have much going for it in the first place.
Even if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t have a single injury in the regular season, they still would be sitting on the outside looking in.
A young defense and turnover prone quarterbacks put a cap on the team’s success. However, injuries have turned this season into another journey towards a top-ten pick.
While the offense was hit with some tough injury luck, the defense was devastated by them.
At each level, a starter was forced to head to the injured reserve. Since training camp, the Buccaneers coaching staff and front office have shuffled to try and replace a mountain of lost production.
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The injury bug first bit back in April of 2018, when Kendell Beckwith suffered an ankle injury due to a car crash. He seemed to be on track to return a week ago, but head coach Dirk Koetter shot down the idea. He will miss the rest of the season.
Then, free agent addition Mitch Unrein suffered a concussion in training camp, and he still hasn’t recovered from it. The lingering head injury has wiped out his first season in Tampa Bay.
Things continued with injuries to nickel corner Vernon Hargreaves and safety Chris Conte. Then, it was the linebackers turn again. Kwon Alexander tore his ACL, and Lavonte David missed the past two games with a sprained MCL.
Take a look at the linebacking corps the past couple of weeks. None of the three main linebacking contributors on paper were able to play on Sunday. Leaving Adarius Taylor, Riley Bullough, and Devante Bond to play significant snaps.
Bond was cut at one point of the season, and Bullough was on the practice squad. With the Bucs within striking distance of having the worst defense in NFL history even when relatively healthy, this group has little chance of success.
Luckily they were able to handle a third-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
Injuries are never an excuse in football. Every franchise deals with them; look at the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve already lost five cornerbacks this season.
They don’t discriminate.
For the Bucs, injuries have been another obstacle for the team to overcome. A thin roster contributed to the downward spiral they went through this season.
A banged-up roster may not be the sole reasons behind the team’s downfall, but it may have cost them an extra game or two.