Bucs backup right tackle Gosder Cherilus, who started for an injured Demar Dotson in Dallas Sunday, had a tough night, particularly against Cowboys’ defensive end David Irving in the fourth quarter. But there was likely more that led to the added pressure on the right side than Irving’s dominance alone.
On Monday, coach Dirk Koetter revealed that Cherilus strained his groin on a block in the fourth quarter, right after the Bucs recovered a fumble near midfield.
“He tried to gut it out,” Koetter said, adding that he doesn’t know the full extent of the injury yet. “That’s the best I can tell you.”
Demar Dotson is still in concussion protocol, Koetter confirmed.
To aid Cherilus, the Bucs at times sent receivers and tight ends to chip the defensive ends, though late in the game it was hard to stay in seven-man protections according to Koetter. Down three and then six in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay needed to send guys downfield to move the ball. From there, Koetter said, the crowd noise became a factor while trying to get the right protections and the Cowboys’ edge rushers were able to pin their ears back and get after the passer.
The Bucs coach wasn’t about to blame the offensive setbacks on injuries and atmosphere, though. Tampa Bay threw for 247 yards and three interceptions while managing just 52 yards on 20 rushing attempts. The Bucs settled for field goals twice inside the red zone in the first half, getting both touchdowns early in the third quarter.
“We’re too inconsistent overall on offense. We just got out of our rhythm,” Koetter said. “We’ve been in a nice little roll of not turning the ball over and we got back to putting our defense in bad positions. We had a couple of chances early and we’ve got to finish with touchdowns.
“Those two field goals we kicked in the first half, the eight points that we left out there by not finishing with touchdowns, those look pretty big at the end of the game. Then, the fact that a couple offensive turnovers led to field goals the other way. So, everybody gets credit when we do well and everybody gets to share in the blame, including the coaches, including me, when we don’t do well. So I’m not one to pin all our woes on our offensive line. We all took turns.”
As for injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Koetter said that an MRI confirmed that Will Gholston dislocated his elbow on that fourth-quarter run play inside the Cowboys five-yard line. Again, the full extent isn’t yet known but Koetter seemed to suggest that Gholston’s only chance to see the field would be a possible playoff scenario.
“Just depending on how much we have left, I think there’s a chance that Will could get back at some point,” Koetter said. “But not probably tomorrow.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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