Early Wednesday morning, news broke that the New England Patriots had released cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year was on the PUP list with a quad injury, and has yet to suit up in 2021. But, according to NFL Insider Josina Anderson, the Bucs are expected to have interest in Gilmore.
Tampa Bay’s cornerback situation has been an injury-laden mess this season. Starting CB Sean Murphy-Bunting suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 1, landing him on injured reserve. Backup cornerback Jamel Dean hurt his knee in Week 3, missing the team’s Week 4 game against New England. Dean is expected back for Week 5, but top cornerback Carlton Davis isn’t. Davis went down in the second quarter against the Patriots with a non-contact quad injury. He was in considerable pain and had to be carted to the locker room.
Gilmore is recovering from a quad injury of his own that required offseason surgery. The 2-time All-Pro was set to return after Week 6, so his injury shouldn’t be a concern based on what we know. Gilmore, 31, had six interceptions in 2019 to win Defensive Player of the Year. The Bucs have already signed Richard Sherman, Pierre Desir and Rashard Robinson in recent weeks, so their cornerback room is full. But if Davis’ injury is a season-ender, that could open the door for Gilmore to step into a void.