The Buccaneers have placed wide receiver and special teams player Russell Shepard on injured reserve with a toe injury. Shepard becomes the 15th player to be placed on IR this year in Tampa Bay.
Shepard’s toe injury occurred when he was attempting to take a handoff from Eric Page on a reverse on a kickoff return after San Francisco took a 23-14 lead with just minutes remaining in Sunday’s game. Shepard lost his footing and fumbled the ball at the 2-yard line where 49ers running back Kendall Hunter recovered the ball and scooped and scored for San Francisco. That touchdown put the 49ers up 30-14 and essentially ended any hope of a comeback by the Buccaneers, who lost 33-14.
Prior to Sunday’s gaffe, Shepard had been one of Tampa Bay’s best special teams performers in 2013. The LSU product was second on the team with six tackles and a forced fumble on special teams, and also recovered a surprise onside kick against Atlanta earlier in the year.
Shepard did not have any catches this season, nor did he have any kick or punt return yardage in 2013.
Tampa Bay’s injured reserve list now includes Shepard, running back Doug Martin, wide receiver Mike Williams, tight end Tom Crabtree, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, tight end Luke Stocker, tight end Nate Byham, cornerback Michael Adams, running back Mike James, running back Jeff Demps, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, cornerback Anthony Gaitor, linebacker Jacob Cutrera, running back Michael Smith and defensive end Marvin Booker.
The Buccaneers also have two players on the reserve/non-football injury list in kickers Connor Barth and Lawrence Tynes.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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