Todd Bowles gives devastating update after Russell Gage injury

This is the last thing anyone wants to hear after the sort of injury Russell Gage suffered.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pittsburgh Steelers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

A worst-case scenario unfolded for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wedesday during the team's joint practice with the New York Jets.

Wide receiver Russell Gage needed to be carted off the practice field with what has been described as a 'severe' leg injury. Gage was reportedly in tears as he was being carted off, and the early indication is that his season is over.

Tests still need to be run, and an official diagnosis hasn't been revealed by the team, but every indication is that Gage's injury is serious. If he doesn't miss the entire season, the Bucs will at the very least be without him for an indefinite amount of time.

Even if the team has yet to confirm the severity of the injury, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the injury is indeed season-ending.

Todd Bowles provides Russell Gage injury update after Bucs-Jets practice

After the joint practice, Bowles spoke to the media and didn't have a very positive update. While nothing has been confirmed or made official, the outlook still looks pretty grim in terms of the severity of Gage's injury.

“We’ll wait for the final word but our heart goes out to him. You could tell by the way he was sitting on the cart it was pretty serious," Bowles said after practice.

Nothing about the way Bowles phrased any of that indicates good news is in the near future.

Losing Gage is a blow on a number of different levels, not the least of which is what it does to Gage has a human being. He worked hard to bounce back after his scary injury during the Wild Card game back in January, and to have this happen and derail his comeback is absolutely devestating.

From a team perspective, it puts pressure on Dave Canales to find rhw right guy to step up and replace Gage. Even if Gage isn't lost for the season -- which would be a welcomed miracle -- there's an immediate need to fill the starting slot receiver role.

Two undrafted rookies -- Kade Warner and Rakim Jarrett -- could use the opportunity to step up and win a roster spot, even if it's not a 1-to-1 replacement of Gage. Deven Thompkins, who is behind Gage on the depth chart, is another candidate to fill in and make the most of an unfortunate situation.

Either way, it sounds like the Bucs are going to need to prepare for the season without one of the team's top three receivers.