Buccaneers: No reason to worry about terrible injury report
By Rob Leeds
The injury bug isn’t leaving the Buccaneers alone.
Is anyone surprised that the Buccaneers are still dealing with injury issues prior to the Bears game after watching the bad luck for the team so far this season?
Tampa hasn’t experienced the worst injury luck in the league this season, but they are certainly high on the list in terms of losing players with the most value. Losing all of your starting corners at various points, key pass rushers, captains, and offensive stars like Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown just scratches the surface of what the Bucs have dealt with.
Despite all of these issues, the Buccaneers are still 5-1, and their recent injury report, while bleak, does not change the prospect for the game this weekend.
Playing a team like the Bears without Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Lavonte David, and Richard is a daunting task, especially with key players still on IR, but Tampa’s depth is their saving grace in this situation.
Starting with Gronkowski, the decision to keep him off IR a few weeks ago was puzzling. Rushing Gronk back when injuries are so serious made little sense, especially when the offense has proven that it works well without him. It is safe to say we all saw this coming.
Lavonte David’s absence will always hurt, especially because he is the best defender on the team when healthy, but Kevin Minter hasn’t been bad in his absence. Richard Sherman experienced a bit of a slow start, but he wasn’t established enough to really count as a dramatic loss.
Antonio Brown is where the loss will hurt the most. Brown has been the most efficient receiver on the Bucs by a mile, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are hardly a consolation duo to lean on. This group at receiver has depth for a reason, and they will step up in Brown’s absence.
The lack of worry over this game stems less from what the Bucs don’t have and more from what the Bears do have. Justin Fields is unlucky to have Matt Nagy as his head coach, and Nagy has proven time and time again that his decisions hold the Bears back.
The Buccaneers may be missing some key faces for such an important matchup, but the Nagy-led Bears still don’t pose a problem for the defending champs.
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