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.

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.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is'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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11 days ago

Low is better than high any day.

11 days ago

Better have a MRI to be sure, X Ray also shown negative on Gronk’s broken rib.

11 days ago

thank god there was some give to it and he was able to dislodge, because if his foot really did get locked up under suh that would have been really disastrous and season ending for sure

11 days ago

Bucs sure have had some bad luck on defensive injuries. Just have to hope offense stays healthy and keeps rolling until get guys back.

11 days ago

Let’s hope this is the last one for any starters this year and we return after our bye with a few missing players.

Reply to  Dude
11 days ago

Yeah man, after the bye it’s going to be a nine week grind. The streak includes one Monday but, thankfully the Thursday game will be behind us.
Go Bucs!!!