TAMPA – Buccaneers five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy knows how it feels to tear a biceps muscle. He tore his left one as a rookie in 2010 and tore his right one a year later.
That’s why tears were running down McCoy’s face when he came off the field in the second quarter of what proved to be a 24-21 loss to the Lions on Sunday, because he says he tore his biceps muscle yet again. A source confirms to F.F.I. that McCoy told teammates that he is fearing his season is over.
“It actually happened on the first play of the game,’’ McCoy said afterward. “(I) just kept playing through the pain but then it got to a point where I just couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore.
“I didn’t want to be out there playing with one arm. You’re not helping your team at that point. Your being selfish. If I would have kept playing I would have hurt my team.’’
McCoy, who was having what was arguably his best season ever, is slated to have an MRI done on his shoulder on Monday. If his personal diagnosis is confirmed, McCoy’s season is probably over.
That might also bring an end to McCoy’s string of consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, which sits at five and is just two less than the number Warren Sapp strung together between 1997-2003.
McCoy, who draws comparisons to Sapp and considers him a mentor on and off the field, has made no secret of his desire to match Sapp’s string of consecutive all-star appearances.
Of course, McCoy would also like to match Sapp’s number of playoff appearances but with the Bucs at 4-9 now it’s guaranteed his season will end without a playoff berth for the eighth time in as many years.
That may have been another reason for the tears McCoy was crying on the sideline. With each passing year the chances increase that McCoy’s career will end without him ever playing in a playoff game and that clearly worries him.
“I’m never going to stop (believing we can get to the playoffs,’’ McCoy said. “I love this team. I love this city. So we’re just going to keep on fighting. It won’t change anything for me.
“I’m just going to keep on fighting until we get there. It’s just who I am. I mean, even today, I tried to go back in there. Even though I felt that pain that I feel now I kept playing.
“I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. When you’re out there and you’re trying to push through for your team but you can’t do certain things, then you’re hurting your team, you’re not helping them.’’
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