Buccaneers defensive tackle gerald McCoy left Friday's practice early with a right shoulder injury. The injury is not deemed to be serious. McCoy, along with 2011 draft picks Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers, are expected to bolster Tampa Bay's anemic pass rush.
Fans, coaches and Buccaneers management all held their breath briefly Friday afternoon when defensive tackle Gerald McCoy went off the field with an apparent right shoulder injury during the team’s full squad workout. McCoy missed the last three games in his rookie season after a biceps tear, and all who witnessed trainers attending to McCoy during the middle of practice Friday were concerned.
In his post-practice press conference Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris talked about the injury, which is not believed to be serious.
“I’m excited it is only a day-to-day deal,” Morris said. “If we had a game Sunday I think he would strap it up. Maybe [it was his] rotator cuff.”
The former Sooner was injured against the Washington Redskins last December, tearing a biceps, which required surgery in the offseason. Rehab went well according to McCoy, who was 100 percent entering training camp. Big things are expected by the Buccaneers coaches from the second-year player, as Tampa Bay drafted Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers in hopes of putting together a defensive line to bolster one of league’s worst pass rushes last season, generating only 26 sacks.
McCoy’s rookie season started off slowly but the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder was starting to become a force in the middle at the time of the injury. The third-overall pick in the 2010 draft recorded 43 tackles, six for loss, three sacks and one forced fumble.
So far in camp, McCoy has been a defensive leader and is always first in defensive drills throughout practice. McCoy talked about his struggles early last season as a rookie.
“There was a lot of confusion at the beginning of the year last season in my assignments, and what I was supposed to do,” McCoy said. “I got moved around a lot, but once I just relaxed and played ball, I came into my own. It all came along.”
One of the things McCoy concentrated on in the offseason was his conditioning.
“The main thing I did in San Diego working out was get in better shape,” McCoy said. “I left here and I was 310 pounds with 22 percent body fat. When I weighed-in [July 28], I was 296 pounds with 16 percent body fat. So I kind of worked out a little bit this offseason and got in better shape. So I’m better prepared. I also grew up mentally compared to my rookie year.”– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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