The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that the team has shut down defensive end Noah Spence and his injured right shoulder for the season, placing him on injured reserve. Spence, the team’s second-round pick in 2016, suffered a dislocated shoulder in Week 4 last year and played through the pain with a harness, finishing his rookie season with 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
After having offseason shoulder surgery, Spence recorded a sack-fumble in the first game of the season in a 29-7 win against Chicago, but re-injured the same surgically-repaired shoulder in Tampa Bay’s second game at Minnesota in a 34-17 loss. Spence had not recorded a sack in the last five games, and has just one sack in the past 11 games dating back to last year.
The Bucs signed 33-year old veteran Darryl Tapp (6-1, 270), who has 28 career sacks, to replace Spence. Tampa Bay has just seven sacks in six games, which is the fewest in the league. On Wednesday, the Bucs also signed cornerback Deji Olatoye (6-1, 205) to provide depth in the secondary as starting cornerback Robert McClain is in concussion protocol after a big hit late in the fourth quarter in Tampa Bay’s 30-27 loss at Buffalo last week.