The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have many issues to address so far this season. In light of recent injury news, one should be above all else for the Buccaneers.
It’s no secret that the 2022 NFL season has not exactly gone the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers either expected or wanted. There is a litany of problems the Buccaneers have tried (and more often than not failed) to overcome so far this year. However, now that they can add a season-ending injury to the list, one problem looks down on the rest.
All-world pass-rusher Shaq Barrett suffered a torn Achilles in the Bucs’ defeat on Thursday Night Football at the hands (claws?) of the Baltimore Ravens. This will of course not only end his season, but when it comes to Achilles injuries, it’s incredibly hard for athletes to come back the same as they once were. Given everything going on with this team, this is horrible news, and even worse for Barrett, the warrior he is.
With this being the case, the Buccaneers need to address their pass-rush situation, for both the present and the future.
The Bucs drafted Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and while he has shown flashes, more will be needed. In today’s pass-happy NFL, you need as many quality pass-rushers as humanly possible to succeed and thrive. It’s been proven time and time again to be the tried and true approach. After all, games are won and lost in the trenches, as if the Buccaneers need any reminding of that.
That leaves the second-year Tryon-Shoyinka as the starter with the team’s official depth chart listing Anthony Nelson as the other. Behind them are veteran journeymen Carl Nassib and Genard Avery. Both have been there and done that, and Nassib is about as good as a rotational pass-rusher as you’re likely to find, but with Nelson and Tryon-Shoyinka as the relatively inexperienced starters, this needs to be addressed quickly.
In no way is this a knock on any of the players listed above, far from it in fact. All are quality players when it comes to getting after the quarterback, but without a true alpha in the room that Barrett was, it becomes an instant team need.
With the trade deadline all but gone, it may be too late for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to address what is now their biggest team need. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to address it for their future going forward, as it is crucial to their success. Well, and quarterback of course, but that is a can of worms to be opened for another day.