Robert Ayers was one a few Bucs that l;eft early with an injury – Photo by: Getty Images
The Bucs lost 40-7 on Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals. To make matters worse, they also lost a few players in the process.
After a decent start for Doug Martin – seven carries for 23 yards, including a 12-yard first-down run – the Pro Bowl running back strained his hamstring in the second quarter and was seen with trainers on the sideline for much of the rest of the half. He didn’t return and it affected the Bucs offense.
“Of course,” head coach Dirk Koetter said of the loss being significant. “It takes out one of the best running backs in the league, so of course.”
The extent of Martin’s injury is still unknown, though he told Roy Cummings of WFLA News that is a “slight tweak.” Earlier in the game Tampa Bay also lost Luke Stocker, a primary run blocker in the H-back role, to an ankle injury. And before the Bucs could stop the bleeding in the first half – score and injury-wise – defensive end Robert Ayers left with an ankle injury.
Ayers, a prized free agent signing, had an excellent offseason and preseason and was emerging as the Bucs top pass rusher. For a team that already lost defensive end Jacquies Smith (ACL) for the season, an extended period without Ayers would be a huge blow to the Tampa Bay defense. More details about the severity and if the injury is longterm will likely come Monday.
The last player to leave the game was Cecil Shorts, who limped off the field with a strained hamstring after his first reception. Shorts, who signed in September, taking Evan Spencer’s role as the No. 5 wide receiver, has suffered numerous injuries over the course of his five-year career.
Tampa Bay is hopeful that none of the injuries are long term, but the losses certainly didn’t help the team’s case Sunday. Still, Koetter wasn’t going to make excuses for a loss in which he said his team was out-coached and out-played in every aspect of the game.
“We lost Luke Stocker in the first half,” Koetter said. “We lost Doug. Robert Ayers was in and out. We had a few guys out but no one will feel sorry for you about that – you have to keep playing.”
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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Yes we were beaten by a much better team including the coaching, but I hope there were some lessons learned fron this for our near future. It’s obvious we still need to improve our pass rush and our OL; not sure if this can all be accompolished this season. I wasn’t upset, mad, or felt negative about the team, I just saw where we really are and what we have to do to get back to the playoff’s. I’m still hopeful and know we are on the right track this time. Go Bucs!
Exactly. Still young team and going to have days like that. And it wasn’t all Jamies the way the media is playing it.
I still think we will edge out a respectable season. Maybe not playoffs but likely will not be at the bottom of the Division either. The DL is critical, and now with Ayres out (hopefully for just a short while) we have a problem. We are going to see just how good Spence is now. Maybe this will be a good thing. I am actually more concerned about Winston. I know he is a confident QB and will bounce back, but you know every other Defense we play this year will be gunning for Winston because he showed a weakness today.
Injuries will affect every team. We are seeing an abundance right now but our division foes will not be immune. They will have their turns soon too…playoffs are a long way away still…lots of road in front of us to recover.
The Cards are one of the team’s favored to reach the SB. They proved it. The Bucs are not. They proved it. Learn from it and move on. There are 14 more chances to get better. The next one is Sunday. They’re not going to win them all, but they’re not going to lose them all either. I predicted no blowouts. I was wrong.
I know “statistics are for losers” so, since we lost this week, I took a peek at them. Hmmmm, other than the five turnovers it was a pretty close game. First downs, time of possession , 3rd down conversions nearly identical. In spite of Palmer’s success on occasion, he completed barely over 50%.
I learned years ago that in the NFL there are games when everything seems to go right (Eagles 2015) and when everything goes wrong (Cardinals 2016). An inch here or there can make all the difference. “That’s what she said”. The psyche of a young team is very fragile. Remember folks, this was but the second game playing Mike Smith’s defense. It’s not going to be fine tuned just yet. It’s not like we just got rolled by the Titans like last year’s debacle.
Agree wirh Scu. With typical peaks and troughs the trend line is still going up. Evans should have fought to keep that from being an int in 1st poss. Your qb gives you a chance to make a play……Maybe its just me but if VJ looks back quicker for pass that int doesn’t happen.
Losing Ayers this week and Smith last week doesn’t bode well for the D line. Time for the D line back ups to earn their paychecks.
If it’s any conciliation, that’s C .Palmer and L. Fitzgerald that just torched us. They have been a special teaming for years.
Time to pull up your jock and regroup.
Tough week, especially on the injury front. There’s going to be games like this with a really young team. Top to bottom it was bad. Injuries, missed tackles, turnovers, Jameis being off, tipped balls. This was the perfect storm of distaster. Lesson learned young bucs. Next week is a very winnable game.
Not worried much about the loss. A rebuilding team is SUPPOSED to lose to a likely Super Bowl contender. The injuries are what worries me, especially with Doug. I hope we’re not seeing a relapse of the injury bug.
On to the next game, time to practice that short memory!
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