Buccaneers defensive leader undergoes minor knee surgery

Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

To open the week of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first preseason game, head coach Bruce Arians announced that linebacker Lavonte David underwent knee surgery.

In his media appearance today, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that starting middle linebacker and team captain Lavonte David had undergone minor knee surgery, reported by PewterReport’s Trevor Sikkema. Arians stated that David had a slightly torn meniscus after reporting earlier that he sat out due to some swelling in his knee.

The timetable for David’s return is set before the start of the regular season, but it would be shocking to see the Buccaneers risk playing him in any preseason action. An injury of this nature should not warrant too much worry, especially for a player with the veteran savvy of David.

Should this injury have happened to first rounder Devin White, then it may have been a bigger worry as he adjusts to the NFL. However David has been around long enough to pick up a new system relatively quickly, so the Buccaneers must put him on the shelf until the regular season.

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In his first year under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, David is moving to inside linebacker after playing his entire career as a 4-3 outside linebacker. He is expected to be able to put up a career year as him and the rookie White hold down the fort in the middle of the Buccaneers’ defense.

The former second round pick of the Buccaneer back in 2012 has been to one Pro Bowl and has been named as an All-Pro once as well. He has tallied 10 career interceptions, 38 passes defended, 18 forced fumbles, 21.5 sacks, and 106 tackles for loss to this point in his seven year career.

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David is expected to thrive under Bowles, who asks his middle linebackers to drop back in coverage, blitz early and often, and to read and react to the run game. With the regular season only a month away and a crucial season on the horizon in Tampa Bay, there is no reason to see David on the field until week one against the San Francisco 49ers.