The injury news continues to be troubling for the Buccaneers secondary, and now it involves a guy in a key year who may be out most of if not the rest of the season.
Defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, a former number 1 pick in the 2016 draft, left in the fourth quarter of the Bucs wild 48-40 win over the Saints with a left shoulder injury.
Buccaneers’ CB Vernon Hargreaves suffered a potentially season-ending shoulder injury Sunday and is getting a second opinion Wednesday from Dr. James Andrews to see exactly how long he will miss, per @john_keim and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2018
Bucs at coach Dirk Koetter would only say Monday that Hargreaves was being evaluated, and that they would be an update later in the week on the team’s injury report.
He did have a huge play in the first half Sunday, stripping RB Mike Gillislee (above) of the ball and the fumble was returned for a Bucs touchdown by Justin Evans to give Tampa Bay a 31-17 lead at that time.
UPDATE: The Bucs did place Hargreaves on injured reserve on Wednesday afternoon likely ending his season.
It’s yet another blow to the Tampa Bay’s defensive backfield, because Pro Bowl veteran Brent Grimes was unable to play last week due to a groin injury suffered in practice leading up to the Saints game.
It’s unknown if Grimes will be available for this weekend’s game or at what point in the short-term?
The Buccaneers were also hopeful that two year veteran De’Vante Harris, who they picked up off of waivers during the preseason, would be able to help them. However, he too was injured late last week in practice. Harris suffered a hamstring injury that is significant enough that the team reached an injury settlement with him on Tuesday.
The Bucs did draft two young defensive backs in the second round in M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis and both saw some playing time Sunday against the Saints. And now, with the latest injury news involving Hargreaves, they both will be counted on even more heavily.
Back Hargreaves, he had already been demoted to slot corner during the 2017 season, as he struggled in one on one coverage deep down the field over his first two years.
Hargraves suffered a hamstring injury that ended his season a year ago after only nine games. He also had been battling a groin injury in training camp before coming back healthy to play in the third preseason game with the Lions.
So, Tampa Bay can afford to be patient with him after this season. And there is a possibility that he could be designated to return off of the injured reserve list, if the injury were to heal.
For now, the Bucs are banged up among DBs with the champion Eagles headed to town.
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