According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bucs are going to lose another valuable starter for some time. Linebacker Lavonte David has a low ankle sprain and will miss this Thursday’s game against the Eagles. After that, David will be considered week-to-week.
#Bucs LB Lavonte David suffered a low-ankle sprain in Sunday’s win and is expected to miss some time, source said. That means he’s out Thursday and week-to-week after that.
David was injured in the second quarter of a 45-17 victory over the Dolphins. David leapt to deflect a pass on a blitz, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was shoved into his leg. The star linebacker was bent back painfully, but somehow avoided major injury. X-rays on Sunday were negative.
Veteran linebacker Kevin Minter replaced David on Sunday, playing all the remaining snaps in the All-Pro’s stead. Minter missed three tackles in 26 snaps, which is more than David has missed all season. In all likelihood, Minter will play the vast majority of snaps against Philadelphia. David hadn’t missed a snap this season until his injury in Week 5.
It’s been a quiet season for David, largely because of how little opposing teams have run the ball. He’s been stellar in coverage, with two pass breakups to accompany his 34 tackles. David was also credited with a sack on Sunday, after being the closest defender when Jacoby Brissett ran out of bounds short of the line of scrimmage. Thursday will mark the first game David has missed since Week 11 of the Bucs’ 2018 season.
The loss of their defensive captain leaves the Bucs down four defensive starters. Cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting are on injured reserve, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is still in concussion protocol. Winfield could be cleared to return by Thursday night. It remains to be seen if David will be placed on injured reserve. Under 2021 NFL rules, players are able to return from IR after three weeks.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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