Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris is preparing to play without his starting Sam (strongside) linebacker Quincy Black for the second straight game. Black missed practice for the second day in a row this week on Thursday. The fourth-year pro Black is third on the team in tackles with 63 and four tackles for a loss. Black also has a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, and interception. Morris said that Black was making progress last week but re-aggravated the injury in practice on Friday.
“Well it is the ankle. He’s in the position where you have to have some backbone behind you, sturdiness, so it is concerning for all of us,” said Morris. “When he’s in position where he’s full and he can run. He was running pretty good last week. He re-aggravated it a little bit on that Friday, so we’re going to have to see where he is again and try and get him healthy as quickly as we can.”
Black missed last Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers with his ankle injury. Black sustained the injury against the Atlanta Falcons and was replaced in that game primarily by rookie linebacker Dekoda Watson. Tampa Bay platooned Watson and veteran Adam Hayward against the Panthers. Each one totaled three tackles with Hayward registering a tackle for a loss. Morris was pleased with the way they filled in for Black.
“It really went well. Dekoda came out and was able to get the first start of his career, and be very active and running around,” said Morris. “He played had fast and had some fun. We sent [Hayward] out there, and he was able to get a couple of series for us and do a couple of things for us. The combination of those two being able to play for us was really good for us because I didn’t lose either one of them on special teams. They were still able to go out there and make significant plays on special teams. Dekoda actually played better on special teams after playing on defense. [Hayward] was able to go out there and get some double teams off of him and make some tackles. It was a good combination. It was good to see those guys go there and play together, and they had lots of success so I look forward to doing it again if we have to.”
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