In the locker room following Sunday’s loss to the Rams, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy’s hand was in a cast. On both Monday and Tuesday the cast was nowhere to be found when McCoy strolled through during the team’s open locker room period, causing some to wonder if maybe the initial diagnosis was wrong. But late on Tuesday afternoon the mystery of missing cast was solved.
“Gerald, we got him fitted in a cast today,” Smith said. “It’s not a club. Today, of course, he had his thumb out, so we’ll see. Eventually, that’s what he’ll end up playing with, with some protection while being able to use all of your fingers.”
The question still remains if McCoy can play on Thursday evening as the Bucs travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons, but during his post-practice press conference Smith didn’t sound very hopeful that Tampa Bay’s best defensive lineman would be able to suit up.
“You can’t really rush the passer or play three-technique with one arm,” Smith said. “You need to be able to use that. Gerald is a heck of a player but I might have a chance against him if I made him put his hand behind his back and just played with one hand. That’s pretty hard to do. Eventually he’ll be able to use both and we’ll put him out there then. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but it’s a matter of time. He’s a quick healer and he was light on his feet out there today.”
Two days removed from Gerald McCoy injuring his left hand, the star defensive tackle’s availability for Thursday’s quick turnaround game at Atlanta remains up in the air.
“Right now we’re trying to figure out what’s the best decision and what’s the best way to keep it protected,” McCoy said in front of his locker Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously it’s better if I’m out there, but it’s still a long season. So we’re just going to take it day by day and see what happens.
“There’s always the risk that you can make it worse,” he continued. “It’s just been a couple days now. I don’t think it’s a secret that it’s going to be hard to play with a broken hand after a couple days. It can always get worse and that’s the risk of going out there on Thursday.”
The anchor of Tampa Bay’s defensive line suffered a break or fracture in his left hand during the eighth play of first quarter against St. Louis on Sunday. He returned for the first play of the Rams’ next drive but then left field for good.
McCoy wouldn’t rule out a playing Thursday but didn’t sound confident in that possibility.
“It’s going to be hard to grab people with a broken hand, but I’ve been doing this long enough to where I can figure it out,” he said. “I’m just doing a lot of treatment, doing some hand exercises, and then we’ll see how much I can use it out there. But I guarantee you I’m doing everything in my power to get back as soon as possible.”
Another thing McCoy wouldn’t disclose is the extent of his injury, even whether it was a break or a fracture. “I don’t know. I leave that to the doctors. I just do what they tell me. It’s my left hand. It’s in the left part of my left hand.”
In McCoy’s absence, the Bucs primarily positioned Clinton McDonald, Da’Quan Bowers and Akeem Spence on the interior line Sunday. McCoy said even if he can’t go in Atlanta he’ll remain active during lead-up practices and the game Thursday night.
“I’ve got to stay involved,” McCoy said. “One thing I’ve been doing is staying as involved as possible even with limited participation. Even if it’s walk-throughs, getting on my offensive line, getting the looks – just being very detailed.”
McCoy is one of three opening-day starters to have gone down with an injury that’s caused missed time. McDonald’s the only one to avoid it thus far.
Atlanta coach Mike Smith spoke with the Tampa Bay media Tuesday afternoon and said he’s fully anticipating a tough test from the Buccaneers defense despite missing some key players.
“I’ve been very impressed with the way the defense has played, even with the injuries,” Smith said. “They’ve done what they need to do and that’s keep people out of the end zone. Lovie’s teams, they always play hard. I’ve been very impressed with their defensive line.”
Every Monday at 4:20pm Scott Reynolds from PewterReport.com joins The Booger and Ryan Show to break down last weekend’s game. Sunday was another loss this time to the St. Louis Rams.
Gerald McCoy broke his hand on Sunday and Reynolds said that he would be surprised to see McCoy and Mason Foster in the game on Thursday against the Falcons.
Reynolds said that this is a tough situation for the Bucs to be in. Losing two games at home NFC opponents and all the injuries piling up are costing them.
To listen to the full interview, click here.
The Buccaneers and Falcons released their official injury report to the NFL this evening and here are the players that both teams listed.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Da’Quan Bowers – Abdomen – Full Participation
Evan Dietrich-Smith – Back – Limited Participation
Demar Dotson – Hamstring – Did Not Participate
Mason Foster – Shoulder – Did Not Participate
William Gholston – Shoulder – Limited Participation
Michael Johnson – Ankle – Limited Participation
Logan Mankins – Knee – Limited Participation
Doug Martin – Knee –Limited Participation
Gerald McCoy – Hand –Did Not Participate
Bradley McDougald –Knee – Full Participation
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Ankle –Did Not Participate
Julio Jones – Ankle – Limited Participation
Jake Matthews – Ankle – Limited Participation
Prince Shembo –Knee – Limited Participation
Roddy White – Hamstring – Did Not Participate
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith was fairly upbeat when he addressed the media on Monday afternoon during his weekly postgame press conference. Part of that has to do with finding some bright spots after reviewing the film.
“As we go forward, we have to highlight some of the positive things we did in the game, starting off offensively with our running game,” Smith said. “Whenever you can average over five yards a carry, it’s a good thing. And when we wanted to pass the football, I thought we were able to do some things in the passing game. We had pretty good balance.
“Offensive line, I think just about every time I’ve come in here someone has asked about the offensive line. I don’t hear any questions now and that’s a good thing. Our offensive line, that’s a good front that we played against. Bobby Rainey, talking about my glass half full as it is, the job Bobby Rainey did stepping up and the offensive line put him a position to do those things. Those are the things that we will build on.”
Although there were some positives, there were plenty of things that disappointed Smith and his staff from Sunday’s loss to the Rams.
“And defensively, just disappointing the amount of times we’ve taken the ball away,” Smith said. “We hung in there, but we had a quarterback that hasn’t played an awful lot, and we let them keep drives going, especially late. In the second half, they had about three long drives, and that really hurt us. Talked a lot last week about special teams and what we did well. As we’ve mentioned, [the blocked] field goal taking points off the board for us, and, of course, that [blocked] punt really hurt us.
“But that’s where we are for our football team. We watched the video this morning quickly and made the corrections. And now, as far as our team is concerned, they’ve moved on to Atlanta.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday afternoon that they have promoted linebacker Brandon Magee from the practice squad to the active roster and waived (injured) cornerback Rashaan Melvin.
Magee (5-11, 225) originally joined the Buccaneers as a waiver claim from the Cleveland Browns during this year’s training camp, spending the preseason with Tampa Bay, before being waived in the final round of cuts. He was then signed to the team’s practice squad. Last season, Magee appeared in eight games with the Browns
Melvin (6-2, 193), has been inactive for both of Tampa Bay’s games this season. He originally joined the Buccaneers as a college free agent in 2013, spending six games on the team’s active roster, but did not see any game action.
The team also announced they have signed linebacker Ka’Lial Glaud to the practice squad. Glaud (6-2, 230) played in seven games for Tampa Bay last season and spent this past offseason and preseason with the team, before being waived in the final round of roster cutdowns.
Following Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams, Bucs left tackle Anthony Collins was visibly shaken. For 15 minutes he sat in the back of the locker room on a box with a towel over his head speaking to no one. When he finally returned to his locker, most of the media had cleared out. PewterReport.com and Tribune reporter Ira Kaufman approached Collins who was still in a state of shock. To no one in particular Collins finally mustered the gumption to speak with tears welling up in his eyes.
“It’s not easy going against those defensive ends,” Collins said. “Yeah I am here for that. I know my ability. People know my ability. But it is not easy. You put your heart and soul into it. I know it is two games but… it hurts.”
Less that 24 hours later Collins familiar grin was back, but the pain from the loss was still evident.
“I am still upset, I can say I am over the game, but until the next game…we can’t let that happen anymore,” Collins said. “I just took time to myself and had to get away in my mind. I put everything (in) it. It is not easy playing who I have played against the last two weeks (Greg Hardy and Robert Quinn). Going into the Atlanta battle I am just ready to get the taste out on my mouth and come away with a W instead of an L.”
Despite the outcome Collins pointed to some positive things, which included an offensive line that gave up just one sack and helped the Buccaneers gain 157 yards on the ground.
“It was just effort, we went out there knowing those boys were going to be from a dome, and it is hot down here in Tampa,” Collins said. “So once we put that body on them and that effort on them, I knew we were going to be able to run the ball.”
Part of that was from the line getting more and more used to playing with each other.
“It is coming along, I got my All-Pro (Logan Mankins) next to me,” Collins said. “Our center (Evan Dietrich-Smith) is getting it down, we have a good right tackle
(Demar Dotson) and Pat (Omameh) is playing very, very well. I just have to take care of my business. The chemistry is coming with the tight ends. Shortly. But it is coming.
Collins went on to talk about Mankins leadership.
“I have never played with a guy like Logan (Mankins), I have played with some good left guards in Cincinnati, some great guards in Cincinnati” Collins said. “But a guy like Logan is telling you the game as the game is going on. I have never had that and it is different. I am loving it. As long as everybody stays healthy I think we are going to be alright.
“I see improvement and the places we have men we are going to be good. This is the first time we have ever played together period. Dotson is the only one from last year that is here. That has played in this weather and had played in these circumstances.”
The Buccaneers came into Sunday’s game against the Rams already hurting injury-wise, and finished the game in even worse shape.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a broken hand and told the media following the game he’s unsure how long he will be out. McCoy was visibly upset in the locker room when discussing the injury and the loss and gave short answers when discussing his injury.
“I split a double team and hurt my hand,” McCoy said.
Defensive tackle Akeem Spence was part of a rotation with Clinton McDonald and Da’Quan Bowers who tried to fill McCoy’s shoes. Spence said losing McCoy was a blow.
“It’s tough, but us up front have the next man up mentality,” Spence said. “You hate to lose a guy like Gerald McCoy, he is the best under tackle in the league. But me, Da’Quan [Bowers], Clinton [McDonald] we tried to come in and fill in for him and pick up (for him), we might not be on the same level as Gerald but we aren’t too far off. We came in and just tried to keep the defense going.”
After the game Lovie Smith talked about the injury situation and the list that is growing longer. It’s one that now also includes linebacker Mason Foster who injured his shoulder in the second half.
“Injury-wise, we had a few – of course Gerald McCoy going down didn’t help the case,” Smith said. “And Mason Foster. Losing your Mike [linebacker] and your three-technique [defensive tackle] puts the defense in a hole a little bit, but nobody wants to hear about that. Don’t know the extent of the injuries, but neither could finish the football game. Hopefully we can get them back before long.”
Another player who took a tough hit but appeared to be okay after the game was wide receiver Mike Evans. The rookie caught a 29-yard pass to the Rams 32-yard line with less than 20 seconds to play, but was unable to get off the field after a hard hit by St. Louis safety T. J. McDonald. The officials stopped play with eight seconds on the clock, but inside two minutes, and without a timeout, the rules says there is a 10 second run off, and the game ended.
“I know all the guys are going to say that the game isn’t lost on one play, but to me, I am the guy that could have changed that,” Evans said.
“He took a blow – I don’t know exactly how bad,” Smith said. “He didn’t get off in the end. We need to if at all possible. But that’s one play in the game.”
The Buccaneers don’t have time to sulk after their 19-17 loss to St. Louis that now leaves them 0-2 on the year. Nor do they have much time to heal, as they travel to Atlanta for a nationally-televised matchup with the Falcons on Thursday night
The Bucs lost of walking wounded grew by one on Sunday as it was reported by FOX Sport’s Jay Glazer that running back Doug Martin would not be active for today’s game against the Rams. Martin suffered a knee injury last Sunday against the Panthers and was limited in practice all week.
Boooby Rainey is expected to start in Martin’s place.
The Bucs are already without Adrian Clayborn who went on the IR after a biceps injury, Michael Johnson who has an ankle injury, Austin Seferian-Jenkins who also has an ankle injury and Rashaan Melvin who is still recovering from a preseason ankle injury.
Guard Logan Mankins is questionable after suffering a knee injury in last week’s 20-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The full list of inactives will be released shortly.
Mark Cook of Pewter Report joined Marc Ryan to discuss Adrian Clayborn’s injury and this week’s matchup against the Rams.
Cook said that Clayborn being out is a big deal but it isn’t. He wasn’t very productive but having Michael Johnson out this week is what makes it a bigger deal. Even with those two they weren’t getting pressure so having guys off the streets is cause for some to panic.
Cook said there aren’t a lot of specifics about how Clayborn tore his bicep. It’s unfortunate Cook said because Clayborn has been out with an ACL injury before.
If the Bucs lose to backup QB’s two weeks in a row, Cook said they could go 4-12 again. He can’t see how they can beat Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan if they can’t beat backups.
To listen to the full interview, click here.