The Buccaneers suffered a huge blow to their offense and defense in Sunday's 17-10 defeat at Baltimore as right guard Davin Joseph and free safety Cody Grimm are lost for the season with injuries. Joseph broke his foot in the first quarter and Grimm suffered a broken ankle shortly thereafter in the second quarter.
“Cody Grimm and Davin Joseph will both go to I.R.,” said Morris. “They are heading that way. I lost both of those guys yesterday. Lost Davin very early with a broken foot I believe, and I lost Cody with a broken [fibula] 24 snaps into it.
“Very unfortunate plays. We are going to miss those players a lot. That’s the nature of the beast in the NFL. The next person has to step up and be ready to go in there and fill that role. [Jeremy] Zuttah will be ready to go and we will have a nice battle at safety with Sabby [Piscitelli] and [Corey] Lynch and Vincent Anderson. I look forward to the challenge of going out there and coaching those guys.”
The Bucs will likely promote Anderson and guard Brandon Carter from the practice squad to fill those spots on the active roster.
In Sunday's game, Joseph was replaced by Zuttah, who started all 16 games at left guard in 2009, and started four games for Joseph at right guard as a rookie to start the 2008 season. Zuttah will be the starter at right guard for the rest of the season in Joseph's absence.
“[Derek] Hardman or [Brandon] Carter are the two guys that we have right now,” said offensive coordinator Greg Olson when asked about the team's depth at guard. “I believe we are going to bring Carter up from the practice squad, so that is two other young players that will have a chance to set up and gain some experience. We’ll also still have Zuttah in there and [Ted] Larsen. You know Zuttah ended up having to play the entire game there at right guard.”
Olson said that he was pleased with how Zuttah, who had started four and a half games at center for the injured Jeff Faine this season, played in place of Joseph.
“He did all right,” said Olson. “Again he had been playing mostly at left guard and center. He got better as the game went on and he’ll get better this week.”
Piscitelli, who started 16 games last year at strong safety and has one interception this year in reserve duty, replaced Grimm on Sunday and will be in the mix to be the starter this week at Atlanta along with Lynch, Anderson and cornerback Ronde Barber, who is Morris' emergency safety.
“Ronde is always in that thought to move back at safety,” said Morris. “Really, you don’t want to move either of those guys because they are playing so well – Aqib [Talib] or Ronde – but both of those guys have the mental capacity, both are physical enough, and both of those guys do all those similar things together… that is always a thought process and we have to go through it the next two days and figure out how we are going to make this thing work.”