The Bucs have had some tough injuries to deal with during the first four weeks of the season. Losing Jacquies Smith for the season, Doug Martin, Luke Stocker, and Robert Ayers these past three games has been tough blows to overcome. Now Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, Rookie DE Noah Spence and TE Brandon Myers are now on the injured list. The Bucs depth has been tested and it has hurt the running game and pass rush the most.
Backups in Howard Jones, and Devonte Lambert have done ok so far but they are no Ayers or Smith. Then on offense the Bucs are missing Stocker’s run blocking and their best player in Doug Martin who can break tackles and bring power in the ground game. Sims has done a decent job as his strengths are in space and tends to struggle running between the tackles, but for the most part has done great as a pass catcher. Bucs Cb Jude Adjeh-Barimah talked to the media yesterday, and said it’s no excuse as injuries happen.
“It’s hard because those are your brothers and you don’t want to see them go down, but at the same time it’s an opportunity for guys to step up. As I think about it last year, part of the reason why I got on the active roster is because of an injury. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up and to really make a comfortable role for themselves on this team and help us win. It’s the NFL, injuries are going to happen. We’d love to have [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] and all those guys out there every day, but we need to the next man to step up because the standard remains the same and we have to keep up the level of play as if he were in there.”
Players and coaches have to do a better job as injuries will continue to take place and it’s up to the backups to raise their games and play like starters. Bucs depth needs to rise up to the challenge because it’s being tested right now.