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.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Horse
Horse
4 years ago

This will probably be the end of Spense career unless he can play with a 3-4 defense team. Could be another 2nd round bust which might mean the worse draft ever in 2016! Now please don’t trade for a DE with anyof our 2018 draft pick and make matter worse!!!!!!!

Dakota
Dakota
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

If Spence doesn’t pan out we’re going to have to draft a defensive end. We have to have a pass rush, and we’re seriously lacking one.

Dman
Dman
Reply to  Dakota
4 years ago

Already going to have to draft at least one starting caliber DE, possibly two. Spence is a 3-4 LB. Trade hime to a 3-4 team and draft the right guy for our defense.

vtrantb
vtrantb
4 years ago

Comical Licht, a 33 year old Saints cast-off. If the Saints, one of the worst defense in the NFL don’t want you, this is supposed to help? This is on the GM for not addressing the DL in last year’s draft. Don’t understand why we went so heavy on the offense in the last two drafts.

1bucfanjeff
1bucfanjeff
4 years ago

Same shoulder, same injury, he’ll never be the same or completely healthy again. It was a good draft pick because you can’t predict injuries and it wasn’t a college injury to my knowledge….very unfortunate for HIM. Bucs will have to find somebody else now.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  1bucfanjeff
4 years ago

It wasn’t a good pick then because he was a poor fit for a 4-3 defense running the 40 in the high 4.8’s at 250 lbs. I never liked the pick.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

I’m looking at you Licht…

Dman
Dman
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

Correct. Good player, wrong fit.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

He did run in the 4.8’s but for lineman a ten yard split is vastly more important than a 40 time and his was right up there with the likes of von miller. He’s just being used wrong, simple as that. He’s a 3-4 linebacker, not a traditional DE.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

We have the personnel – at least we did, when Spence was healthy – to run 3-4. Why not run 3-4? The majority of NFL teams do that, why not the Bucs?

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
4 years ago

VHIII, Aguayo and Spence are becoming quite the trifecta. In other news Sterling Moore just got released and didn’t perform poorly during his last stint with us. He also played outside an area where we currently lack depth and quality. Jason, let’s start getting some things right and salvage this season.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

May be a day late and a dollar short on this one. Bucs just signed a CB to the 53 roster.

27 Olatoye, Deji CB 6-1 205 26 3 North Carolina A&T

I don’t know anything about this guy yet, still working on pronouncing his name. lol.

vtrantb
vtrantb
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

Licht is reaching for straws with these signings. Should have drafted defense in the last two drafts.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  vtrantb
4 years ago

You mean, we should have drafted more defensive players than we did – which was 7, 2 more than the number of offensive players we drafted the last two years?

You’re being ridiculous, as usual.

Brooks Dunn-Winston
Brooks Dunn-Winston
4 years ago

Tapps is the bomb!!!!!!

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Brooks Dunn-Winston
4 years ago

I would call it a Licht brain fart!

vtrantb
vtrantb
4 years ago

The Aguayo fiasco could have translated into 2 defensive position players in the draft.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  vtrantb
4 years ago

Yeah, and both of those players could end up on IR too.

GMs cannot predict injuries. Nobody can predict injuries.

tnew
tnew
4 years ago

Lets just do some quick math on the last two drafts. 2016 VHIII Spence Aguayo Ryan Smith Caleb Benenoch Devante Bond Dan Vitale 4 Defensive, 2 Offensive, 1 special teams 2017 OJ Howard Justin Evans Chris Godwin Kendall Beckwith Jeremy McNichols Steve T 3 offensive, 3 defensive So in two drafts, 7 defensive, 5 offensive, 1 special teams. How again have the Bucs “loaded up” with offensive players? Drafting one more than defensive. I for one think this is a great move for his future. Rather than struggling through a long season only to rush surgery and rehab, he can… Read more »

tnew
tnew
Reply to  tnew
4 years ago

Sorry meant drafting two more defensive than offensive.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  tnew
4 years ago

I had major reconstructive shoulder surgery who at the time was trained by the Tommy John original surgeon. I can’t imagine Spence being the same after a 2nd surgery much less the 1st surgery. I know it all sounds negative, but being realistic here. Maybe if he strictly plays in a 3-4 defense he can play somewhat, but not rushinfg in a 3 or 4 point stance right up with an OT.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

3-4 or 4-3 has nothing to do with Spence’s shoulder injuries. It’s football, even quarterbacks get shoulder injuriess, duh. And nothing says we have to play 4-3 …

Buc76
Buc76
4 years ago

Licht is not a general manager. How many mistakes do people need to see until they get it. Noah Spence is undersized. Can’t stay healthy. Now players are talking to the media grumbling anonymously. Its over for this regime. They are not trusted by the players because of the way Lovie Smith got fired even though he deserved to be. The players think Licht and Koetter schemed to ax Lovie. It needs to keep being said. Gruden needs to come back and I say Derrick Brooks would be a great General Manager.

Garv
Garv
4 years ago

This is about it for Noah I’m afraid. His shoulder simply cannot hold up in the NFL. So many holes to fill on defense. It’s going to take some time unfortunately. Back to the freaking drawing board. And unless the Bucs win BOTH of the next two games (highly doubtful) we’re going to be talking draft and free agency FAR too early ……… AGAIN DAMN IT TO HELL!

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Garv
4 years ago

Garv; you’re a great fan and ticket holder. Hang in there; I think next year will be much better; I too was hoping this was going to be the year for playoff thinking.

Garv
Garv
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Thanks. I’m still hoping for a turnaround this season but it will take the Buccaneers winning the next two games. BOTH games. And unfortunately it’s a stretch hoping that happens. But you know how it goes. All in this Sunday, win the damn game and on to New Orleans. But it also seems like every year the Buccaneers blow games they should win early and those damn games count just as much as the ones in December. Always trying to catch up as a result.

Anyway, back to one game at a time. GO BUCS!

surferdudes
4 years ago

Spence has never been very good, or healthy. We all bought the Spence hype, that’s all it’s ever been. I think he still may have a chance, but only in a 3-4 defense. We needed a pass rushing D end, Licht gave us one, Spence, a swing, and a miss. Needed a kicker, won’t even go there. Got it right it looks like with O.J., but wasted a second rounder on Jenkins. So Licht has whiffed on three second rounders. That might be ignored if we were 4-2 and clicking right now, but we’re not. That’ll get a G.M. fired.… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

There wasn’t much hype over drafting Spence. He was a second rounder, not a first rounder let alone top 10 pick. If there was any hype it came from his teammates like Ayers and McCoy who really like him a lot. But injuries happen.

There was a helluva lot of real hype around Pewterreport over Dalvin Cook this past draft season, with one of the writers here being his biggest fan, and a lot of others salivating over Cook. He lasted all of 1/4 of the season before going on IR. Not his fault.

Injuries happen.

Eric
Eric
4 years ago

at least they are trying something different. To continue to do the same thing and expect different results is insanity. I don’t think our problem on D is scheme or any players beyond the front four. We could have Sherman or Peterson or any shutdown CB and still give up the points and yards. Bottom line is the D line MUST knock the hell out of the QB, not pressure, knock his block off consistently. When we had arguably one of the most dominant D for 10+ years it was largely because of the ability of the line to wreak… Read more »

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
4 years ago

Just launch 2016 draft into space. What a disastrous start for that class. If Vern and Spence don’t get it together by next season, missing on an entire draft is going to really hurt us.

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

Gee we are an impatient bunch. My friend Horse should know all too well not to declare a player a bust just because he suffered an injury his first two years in the league. And we all should remember a little cornerback and a safety who looked pretty bad their first two seasons. I’m not saying Spence, Hargreaves and Evans are going to turn out like McCoy, Barber and Lynch, but shouldn’t we allow the story to play out a bit longer?

surferdudes
4 years ago

Impatient? We haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2002. Spence’s injury is more a direct result of pitting him against 300+lb offensive linemen, because Licht thought he was a defensive end. I’m O.K. with VH3, and Evans, but when you look at the fact Martin would miss 3 games Hunt might’ve been a better pick. For a high first round choice VH3 is being out played by corners picked after him. The fact he’s been moved to nickel isn’t a good sign. Finally, I want to be Batman McCoy. He’s been the one constant for a bad defense no matter who… Read more »