The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 1-0 after defeating the Chicago Bears 29-7 last week, but that victory came with a price. Middle linebacker Kwon Alexander injured his hamstring after a first quarter interception and did not return, and was ruled out for Sunday’s game at Minnesota. Cornerback Brent Grimes was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury and was a game-time scratch. Defensive linemen Chris Baker and Jacquies Smith didn’t make the trip due to the flu, which hit the Bucs locker room the last two weeks.

That was before the kickoff in what was to become a 34-17 loss at Minnesota. Not only did the Vikings beat the Bucs – they also beat them up as several starters got injured in Sunday’s game.

Early in the game Tampa Bay defensive end Noah Spence, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in Week 4 last year and played through the pain before having offseason shoulder surgery, dislocated that shoulder again against the Vikings early on. Spence missed most of the game, but did return to rush on a third down in the third quarter before missing the rest of the game.

After catching a 15-yard touchdown with 8:47 left in the third quarter, Bucs tight end Cameron Brate took a shot to the back of the head – a hit that should have been flagged for targeting – by safety Andrew Sendejo and didn’t return to the game. Brate said he was fine after the game, but Alexander said the same thing after last Sunday’s win against the Bears and all throughout the week despite missing practice. Don’t be surprised if Brate lands in the concussion protocol after the hit.

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David was injured with just three minutes left in the game and it may be the most serious. David had his left leg bent back after a Vikings offensive lineman landed on it and had to be carted off the field. Koetter said x-rays were negative and the initial diagnosis is a high ankle sprain. That could keep David out for several weeks.

Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a sprained ankle against Chicago and re-aggravated it against Minnesota, having to leave the game twice to have it tended to by medical personnel.

Bucs safety T.J. Ward also injured his quad/hip in the third quarter and did not return to the game.

Head coach Dirk Koetter will address these injuries and any other possible ones that weren’t apparent while watching the game tomorrow at his post-game press conference at One Buccaneer Place.


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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]


  1. There’s more than that after that complete beating. At this point I’m for making sure these guys are all healed before they play again. Go Bucs!

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  2. When it rains it pours…smh.

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    • BTW, I like the signing of Ward because he is better than anything we had at safety, but he was nursing an injury when he was with the Broncos, is part of the reason they released him. I think his leg is going to be a lingering issue this season, but hopefully he fully recovers for next season. To me Ward’s signing highlights what a disappointment J. Evans has been so far.

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      • He’s only signed for 1 year.

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  3. the injuries were just starting to get comical today. With the list of players not playing to start, let alone got injured, this was a worst case scenario.
    A strange day of football all around today in the league. Ofcourse te Falcons would get a call that would slow them to win, seems to always benefit them. But guys the rest of his division is down. The saints still don’t have a defense and can look absolutely horrible. Hope these injuries don’t linger as having no buy week is something we al knew would haunt us at some point.

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    • I think the hope is to sit some of these guys for some games and give them a chance to heal, while hopefully still winning enough games to eventually make the playoffs. Can we outscore our opposition enough to overcome an injury riddled defense? I don’t know…hope so, but I don’t like the pressure it puts on Jameis. If not, we should at least find out if some of these guys that we think have so much potential can step up and play like defenders or inadequate backups?

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  4. It’s early, but no bye week and this amount injuries, and to key players after 2 games is not not a good sign for rest of season. Sucks really. Had high hopes for Joe season but this is not a deep team and that showed today. I still think we are weak at DE too. Nobody that can really apply pressure. Oh we see what happens next week. Bad day for sure.

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  5. No one has said it yet…so I will. Horse collars, head shots to Brate, Evans and Humphrey…questionable low blocks…offensive pass interference. Sure Minnesota had fewer penalties….because they wouldn’t call them on the Vikings. Time for full time refs….these guys were bad jokes and should be fired. And they are in fact, detrimental to the league, because if they allow these kind of hits, Pro Football will be following in Professional Boxing’s footsteps. What good are they if they don’t protect the integrity of the game?

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    • How the head shots weren’t called today is beyond me. Especially the one with Brate. The guy literally jumped into his head. The officials were absolutely poor today.

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    • A lot of bad calls and non-calls in that game, most in favor of the Vikes. Seemed like the DBs were interfering on most throws to our receivers.

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