Buccaneers: Team has to learn to play with injuries

Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The injuries are here to stay as a problem for the Buccaneers in their quest to make it back to the Super Bowl.

The Buccaneers are one of the best teams in the NFL when healthy. When is the operative word there. Will this team every be fully healthy again? The answer to that is probably no.

Tampa is a long way away from ever being fully healthy again. When one guy comes back, another goes down. Players get hurt in warmups. They take dangerous hits in games. Sean Murphy-Bunting just got back from a very long visit on IR and as soon as he does, Jamel Dean leaves a key game with an injury.

Devin White and Vita Vea have both been questionable. The Bucs just played without the best left guard in the NFL. Antonio Brown is still a few weeks away. Richard Sherman gets hurt at the drop of a hat. See the trend here?

The Buccaneers are just going to be an injury-plagued team this season, and accepting that this will be a consistent force to deal with is the only way to move forward as a team. There is no “when we get everyone back.” This question is marked by a  massive question mark, but ifs don’t slow this team down.

Despite all the injuries, the Buccaneers still have eight wins and are one of the best teams in the conference. The top seed may be hard to chase, but Tampa could easily secure the second seed if they can turn it on down the stretch, and that is still with the injuries.

The other good news is that injuries tend to be cyclical, so dealing with them now and still finding success is good news. There are good years and bad years on this front, and if the Bucs can play like this during a bad year, the outlook for the future of this team is very bright.

Tampa just needs to accept that this will be a consistent problem, and being ready to deal with these issues on the fly is pivotal for finishing the season on a strong note.

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