The Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker corps was targeted by the New York Giants’ ground game in Sunday’s 38-35 loss, which was the team’s fourth in a row. Led by rookie Saquon Barkley’s 142-yard day, in which he also scored three touchdowns, the Giants rushed for 163 yards, taking advantage of the fact that the Bucs were without starting linebackers Lavonte David, who was sidelined with a sprained MCL, and Kwon Alexander, who has was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL against Cleveland last month.
Instead, the Bucs were forced to rely on backups Adarius Taylor, Riley Bullough and Devante Bond, who combined for 10 tackles on Sunday.
Tampa Bay was hoping to have Kendell Beckwith return to action from a broken ankle as a result of a car wreck that has sidelined him the entire offseason and in training camp, but Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said that Beckwith won’t be able to be activated to the active roster this year as he has not progressed enough in practice over the last two weeks during the team’s observation window while he is on the NFL’s Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Instead, he’s going on injured reserve.
“We’re not going to be able to activate Kendell,” Koetter said. “Kendell’s not going to be ready. He’s going to [remain on Reserve/NFI]. I think the deadline is Wednesday at four o’clock – I believe is what they told me. Kendell made progress and he worked his tail off to get back. I don’t think people can appreciate how serious of a surgery he had. It was an uphill battle.
“He worked hard to get back, but he’s just not going to get back to a point where he feels comfortable playing at the level that he knows he can play at. [He’s] going to [remain on Reserve/NFI]. Bad break for Kendell with this whole car accident thing. Just wish him the best for continued improvement.”
When asked if Beckwith’s ankle injury could impact his career and possibly end it, Koetter was non-committal.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Koetter said. “I don’t know. I just know that he’s not going to be 100 percent to go right now.”