After laboring through much of the season with an undisclosed shoulder ailment, an injury to his left hand finally forced Gerald McCoy to the shelf.

The sixth-year defensive tackle sat out last week’s win over the Falcons and his status for Sunday’s critical showdown with New Orleans remains in question.

“If he’s able to out there, that would be a big plus for us obviously,” Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Thursday. “We’ll see. We’ll see if he’s able to practice today and tomorrow, but he’s going to have a big cast on his hand either way. But just having Gerald out there is a big deal for us. It’s still going to be tough to single block him if he’s able to play.”

McCoy was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice for the second straight afternoon. Prior to hitting the field, Tampa Bay’s defensive captain aired his frustrations in the locker room while wearing a wrap on his injured hand.

“It’s just day to day, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I want to play. If they allow me to play I’ll be out there. But I wanted to play last week and that didn’t happen, so we’ll see what happens.”

When asked about Frazier’s comments regarding the possibility of McCoy playing in a cast, the team’s sack leader said that wouldn’t be an issue.

“I played like that last year,” he said, referencing the left-wrist injury that sidelined him briefly and put him in a cast. “Football’s football, it’s crunch time and you’ve got to go. There are no excuses. If I’m out there, let’s go.”

Tampa Bay’s injury woes hit the defensive line particularly hard last week. The Bucs played without McCoy on the interior as well as ends Jacquies Smith and George Johnson, but still managed to limit Atlanta to 64 yards on the ground and sack quarterback Matt Ryan three times.

Despite being upset about not dressing Sunday, McCoy said he was impressed by the combined effort of tackles Akeem Spence, Henry Melton and Tony McDaniel and ends William Gholston, Howard Jones, Kourtnei Brown and Josh Shirley.

“I wouldn’t say it’s one of the deepest teams [I’ve been on here], I’ll just say guys are stepping up,” McCoy said. “When guys are asked to do certain things they do it, everybody’s growing up fast and guys are learning how to be professionals real quick. Guys are just getting the job done.”

Smith (hamstring) remained a spectator at practice Thursday and Johnson (calf) was limited.

Frazier said fans should expect some more key contributors placed on the inactive list Sunday.

“We’re probably still going to be missing some guys,” Frazier said. “We won’t be where we want to be but that gives some other guys an opportunity. We’ll be close to having just about everybody back but there’s still a couple of guys we’d like to have that won’t be playing in that ball game.”

Share On Socials

About the Author: Eric Horchy

Subscribe
Notify of
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Horse
Horse
5 years ago

g
Got to have pressure Brees.

Bucco63
Bucco63
5 years ago

In unrelated news, JJ Watt broke his hand in practice this week and said he will no doubt play on Sunday.

artpac
artpac
5 years ago

yes…let’s take a shot at our best defensive player….because he hasn’t played through pain before? He is a warrior…if coaches allow, he will play…

Bucco63
Bucco63
5 years ago

I guess that’s where I’ll disagree. He is not our best defensive player and he seems to injury-prone. When he plays hurt, you can tell unlike other players considered elite. He’s good, but let’s quit exaggerating his level of play or impact.

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

I agree McCoy wasn’t even really missed last week. Didn’t see much difference with him not in the line up and that says a lot!

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

I don’t know what some players have to do to be recognized as good around here. McCoy receives acclaim from everyone but his own fans. As I recall he has more sacks than any other DT in the league the past two years, our opponents design game plans around him. But because he smiles and gives the enemy a hand up a la Lee Roy Selmon and heaven forbid suffers an injury along the way, some here in Bucville question his value. Lord knows we’ve had our share of lousy overpaid players on this team the past 40 years, but… Read more »

Twistedwires
Twistedwires
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

Agreed. I know sack numbers are indicators of other things. But there are way more things going on to judge McCoy simply based upon splash plays. Currently, McCoy is tied for 15th with 7 sacks. But that’s only 2 sacks behind everyone tied for 5th in the league. I’d love to have a 20+ sack monster like everyone else. But McCoy is a quality player. It’s not like he’s accused of taking plays off. I’ve never heard anything like that. And I’ll let the owners decide if his salary is worth it. I for one am glad he’s a Buccaneer.

jme0151
jme0151
5 years ago

McCoy will play and Saints will game plan for him. It’s a joke when fans question his playing abilities. He is one of the top 3 defensive linemen in the NFL. Just ask his teammates.

artpac
artpac
5 years ago

Mccoy is at worst like the 5th best DT in the league. At best he might be #1. question his play if you want, but I hate it when people question another man’s toughness.