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Report- Bucs DB Vernon Hargreaves has serious shoulder injury

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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.

And the preliminary update on the diagnosis for that injury is not good:

 

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.

They also signed free agent veteran Marcus Williams off waivers Tuesday, who has played in 49 NFL games primarily with the New York Jets.

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.

Hargraves is making 1.7 million in salary for this year and is slated to make 2.4 million in the final year of his rookie deal next season.

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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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Injury concerns for Bucs RB Jones and WR Evans

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The start of fourth week of training camp has a couple of concerns for Buccaneers offensive stars, receiver Mike Evans and running back, Ronald Jones.

Neither player participated in the Bucs latest workout Monday, and now there’s some doubt as to whether either will play in Friday night’s third preseason game with the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium?

The Bucs are not required by the NFL to give any update on injuries at this point, unless they choose to, but head coach Bruce Arians provided a brief one after practice.

“Ronald’s knee swelled up a little bit and just trying to take it day to day with him. Mike tweaked yesterday…it’s nothing serious.”

Traditionally, the third preseason game is the final time where starters for the regular season play significantly.

When asked if both would be held out Friday night, Arians briefly said:

“We’ll see how it is. We still got a few more days. I think Ronald’s gonna be ok. I’m not sure about Mike.”

First, on Evans, the Pro Bowl wide receiver from a year ago pulled up on a pass drill Sunday during practice and although the Bucs aren’t saying anything, there’s concern that he may have sustained a hamstring injury of some type. Tampa Bay is heavily counting on Evans to be their go-to weapon, especially on third down. A year ago he caught for 1,524 yards and a career high 17.7 avg with 8 TDs.

Evans previously dealt with a hamstring injury in the 2015 preseason and missed the season opener with Tennessee but returned the following week.

As for Jones, he appeared to have suffered some kind of left knee hyper-extension returning the opening kickoff on a rain-slicked turf against the Dolphins Friday night. That’s what can be seen this photo on social media from Tampa Bay sports reporter Kevin O’Donnell showing Jones knee clearly in an awkward spot when he planted.

Jones did carry the ball twice for 7 yards leader in the first quarter of the game before being shut down for the night.

Jones has been one of the standouts of the Bucs offseason and training camp with glowing updates repeatedly from Arians about his progress and his chances of seeing significant playing time. Jones missed three games with a hamstring injury in a disappointing rookie year.

Now, we wait to see how long he and Evans will be out.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Positive injury update news for Bucs DT Vita Vea

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs coach Bruce Arians gave another positive update Sunday on one of his star defensive players he’s counting on to come back from injury. It looks like hulking defensive tackle Vita Vea is still on track to potentially play in the season opener September 8th.

After the Buccaneers Sunday morning training camp workout, Arians was asked, if there was any new news on Via resting and rehabbing the sprained ligament in his left knee? He told the media:

“He’s getting better and better everyday. No pain (in the knee). So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s gonna be ready (opening day),” Arians said plainly.

The former first-round pick a year ago out of the University of Washington was injured almost two weeks ago in a one-on-one pass blocking drill, crumbling to the ground with the Bucs and their fans holding their breath. However it turns out it was only a sprain ligament that did not require surgery and Vea could still possibly play at the beginning of the regular season, including the opener with the 49ers.

Vea was seen walking on the sideline Friday night during the Bucs preseason game with the Dolphins with the aid of a heavily braced left knee.

This is the second straight training camp that Vea has been sidelined with a significant injury. Last year, he suffered a torn calf muscle on the second day of workouts and missed all of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season recovering from the injury and getting into playing shape.

When he did comeback, Vea came on strong in the second half of the season and began to show signs of promise, as to why the Bucs had picked him in the top 15 of the draft. He had a career high nine tackles in a December game in Baltimore and was all over the line of scrimmage and the backfield causing disruptions.

Then, in Dallas the following week, he was once again making plays early in the game. Although, he had a first-half sack Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nullified by a face mask penalty, he got another one that counted by blindsiding Prescott on the final play of the first half.

Vea finished with three tackles, the sack and one tackle for loss in that game.  And, in the second half of the season, he ended up with 28 tackles with three sacks and five tackles for loss in eight games.

Vea is being heavily counted on to help the interior of the Bucs defensive line in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3 – 4 defense. He along with new free agent pro bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh are going to be the guys relied upon to get pressure up the middle for the defense.

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