Heading into the 2018 season opener without a team’s top cornerback is never ideal, especially when that team is playing against future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees at his stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
But that’s exactly where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves as veteran cornerback Brent Grimes is doubtful to play on Sunday with a groin injury. The 35-year old Grimes is a key piece in defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s defense, and that will likely force the Bucs to start rookie cornerbacks Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart on Sunday, along with third-year cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Ryan Smith, who also started at cornerback last year, but struggled in the preseason, is an option, as is newcomer De’Vante Harris, who previously played in New Orleans.
Grimes and Hargreaves are the only cornerbacks that have interceptions in their careers, so the Bucs secondary will be extremely light on experience battling Brees and wide receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn, Jr.