The Buccaneers, who are currently 0-7, will have to get into the win column without their second-leading receiver from a year ago, as the Buccaneers announced they have placed the fourth-year receiver in injured reserve.
The Buccaneers struggling offense took another hit on Monday when it was announced that wide receiver Mike Williams was placed on injured reserve, putting an end to his 2013 season.
Williams played in six games this season, catching 22 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, after signing a six-year, $40.25 million extension on July 24, just prior to the start of training camp.
Head coach Greg Schiano talked about the decision to shelve Williams for the remainder of the year.
“Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through,” Schiano said. “He just wasn’t effective doing it. He’ll have surgery now, and get it repaired, and it will be fine. But it’s going to be a little bit of a recovery and so after getting all the information from the doctors, he was allowed to try, and he did for two weeks. But he wasn’t really himself, and he couldn’t do the things he needs to do to be effective so it’s time to get surgery.”
Williams was a fourth-round draft pick in 2010 and has started 52-of-54 career games. In his fourth season from Syracuse, Williams has 215 catches for 2,947 yards and 25 touchdowns. His 25 receiving touchdowns are the fifth-most in Buccaneers history, and his 2,947 receiving yards are the eighth-most. Of receivers chosen in the 2010 draft, he has the second-most receiving yards and is tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns.
Schiano talked about how it affects the offense going forward.
“Well, Mike’s been banged up for the better part of the year so I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a change,” Schiano said. “Now relative to what could have been, sure. Mike is a very fine player, but that’s part of life in the NFL. Next man gets the opportunity and we’ll go with that.”
Schiano was asked on Monday who that next man up may be.
“I think Ti (Tiquan) has played in games,” Schiano said. “So forget practice, Ti has played in games at a higher level. Has he been perfect? No. If he would have, (been perfect), he would have been starting. So he’s the next guy up as far as experience. So then you start talking about, ‘Well, who’s the third receiver in the game?’ Chris (Owusu) certainly showed great promise. He’s got a nagging injury (foot) that’s keeping him from practicing, kept him from being active last week. How well will he be by Wednesday? How well will he be by Sunday? He’s going to be up, but by what percentage?
“You saw Skye Dawson get in there. We brought him up to the active roster, and we activated him on game day. He’s got some things that I think we can play upon. Again, hasn’t played a lot of football. So we need to make sure we don’t go overboard with it. The quickest way to take a fast guy and make him slow is to overload him mentally. He’s a fast guy. We’ve got to keep him fast.”
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