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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After scare Tuesday Bucs believe Donovan Smith not seriously hurt

Florida Football Insiders



Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It was a scary sight for the Bucs, their coaching staff and fans on Tuesday morning, as hulking LT Donovan Smith crumpled to the ground after having had his left leg rolled up upon from behind on a hand off.

The lineman, who has never missed a Buccaneers regular season game, left the field limping badly and putting in jeopardy his missing the Bucs opener September 9th at the Saints.

Here was video from’s Jenna Laine of Smith being helped up off the ground after he slammed off his helmet and was tended to for almost two minutes:

The importance of the former 2015 second round pick out of Penn State cannot be overstated. This is because Smith, shown above against the Titans Saturday, has been the blind-sided protector in the Bucs offense for QB Jameis Winston for the last three seasons. And, he will be again for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, once the regular season begins.

Smith has never missed a game in his three year career, and has the third longest streak of starts (48) for a left tackle headed into this season.

And, Smith has prided himself on that durability for an offensive line unit that has been in flux. A year ago, the Bucs lost games to injury repeatedly for new center Ali Marpet (who has been moved to LG this year), guards Kevin Pamphile and J.R. Sweezy (no longer with the team), and stalward RT Demar Dotson.

Dotson had off season knee surgery and saw his first playing time in a limited role last Saturday night at Tennessee.

As for Smith, a report from Tampa Bay Times Bucs reporter Rick Stroud indicated that it’s apparently not a torn ligament that would require surgery.

That would indicate that it’s likely a sprained knee ligament for Smith and something that he could come back from in a couple of weeks.

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