Bucs DE Jacquies Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Bucs defensive end depth will be tested early in 2016.
Jacquies Smith, who’s played in 28 games for Tampa Bay over the last three years, was placed on injured reserve after leaving Sunday’s game in the first quarter with a knee injury. According to a tweet from Buccaneers.com senior writer Scott Smith, the defensive end was found to have a torn ACL.
The official announcement on the injury, which occurred on punt coverage, didn’t come until after coach Dirk Koetter’s press conference, but it was evident by his tone that they were expecting the news they eventually received.
“That was a very unfortunate, non-contact injury to Jacquies,” Koetter said. “That’s an unfortunate part of this game. Sometimes you get things like that you can’t see coming and one of the few unfortunate parts of the game.”
This is a tough loss for the Bucs. The 6-foot-2 pass rusher, who recorded seven sacks last season in 11 starts for Tampa Bay, had a great preseason. Of the Bucs 16 sacks, Smith accounted for four and resembled the player he was in the first two weeks in 2015, where he had four sacks. Injuries have hampered the former practice squad journeyman’s career.
“It’s big,” Koetter said of the loss. “Heck, he’s a guy who started in our nickel package as a key contributor. It’s going to be tough. We have to pick up the slack in other areas, like I mentioned before. Some guys might have to play more snaps than they had before.”
Those players will likely include Howard Jones, who had five sacks in 12 games last year but only two snaps on Sunday, and Noah Spence, who played 35 snaps in his first game in Atlanta. Koetter mentioned that Jones was mainly a special teams contributor in Week 1 (10 snaps), but added, “Anytime you lose a key guy like, there’s going to be some mixing and matching.”
The Bucs were confident in their depth along the defensive line heading into the season. The loss of Smith, Koetter said, will put it to the test.
“We’re going to be tested on our depth,” Koetter said. “We’ve been saying that we thought we had depth on the defensive line and this is going to test us right off the bat.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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BEST OF LUCK
Get well soon.
Fingers crossed. Will Noah Spence see some action ? Hoping our back ups can step up.
Well this is what happens when you have small DE’s; they get injured a lot. I noticed we don’t have any DE’s on the PS. Not sure if C. Brown is the answer to the replacement. We have seen two years what he can and can’t do; he’s too slow. Bring in a couple DE’s to the PS and lets go light for a game or two and lets see what happens. Nobody wants Glennon; cut Griffin and bring in another LB and Safety. Even Clevland who only has McCown won’t take him. Go Bucs!
I don’t think his size was a factor in him getting hurt. He tore an ACL,and it was a non-contact injury. I know the Bucs are going to miss him greatly, just hope the next man up can fill his shoes.
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