The hits have kept on coming for the Bucs less than 24 hours after their 9-0 loss to the Saints. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tampa Bay will be without special teams ace Pat O’Connor for the rest of the season. O’Connor is believed to have torn his PCL and partial MCL. Either way, the backup defensive tackle will be out for whatever remains of the Bucs season.

O’Connor had recently become a more critical part of the Bucs defensive rotation too, notching a season-high 15 snaps two weeks ago against the Falcons. He’d been effective too, with a tackle-for-loss and a sack in limited action. But O’Connor’s loss is greatest on special teams. The defensive lineman has been one of the Bucs top performers on kick coverage for years now. Unfortunately, O’Connor’s injury occurred while attempting to block a punt late in the loss to the Saints.

It’s uncertain how the Bucs will deal with O’Connor’s loss. His ability to play defensive line was a luxury on game days, so it isn’t automatic that Benning Potoa’e will be promoted to take his place. Tampa Bay could look to bring up their best special teamer from the practice squad, without much regard to position.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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seat26
seat26
6 months ago

The hits keep coming. I expect to lose starters every week.

Horse
Horse
6 months ago

I would most definitely reach into the practice squad player versus the other option as we already know he can’t do much of anything

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
6 months ago

I think the all injuries during the Saints game were the result of retaliation for Winston tearing his MCL/ACL in their first matchup.

PewterHeart
PewterHeart
6 months ago

Fire the strength and conditioning staff, this is just ridiculous.

scubog
scubog
Reply to  PewterHeart
6 months ago

What’s “ridiculous” is that you feel the need to blame the strength and conditioning staff. The same staff, by the way, whose team had very few injuries last season and won the championship. These players are professional, many have their own trainer, I think by now they take responsibility for their own physical condition. Often critics will say a player is “injury prone” even though that’s an equally “ridiculous” remark. Fact is, injuries occur for a variety of reasons…………..like a defender blasting into their knee.

twspin
twspin
6 months ago

Injuries are a part of the game. And ours are starting to mount up bigtime. To be champion you must beat the champions. Now we shall see what our champions are made of folks. Nobody feels sorry for us. Its crap or get off the pot. Ruck up Bucs, Contenders be coming for you. Next man up.