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.
Bucs Evans got respect from LeBron James Saturday night
The new present day cliche’ for respect among athletes/opponents in sports is: “Game Recognizes Game.” And, there was a neat example of that Saturday night, as the Houston Rockets of the NBA hosted the L.A. Lakers. That’s when iconic NBA star LeBron James of the Lakers came over to acknowledge Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in the seats behind him.
Always a pleasure watching the 🐐 https://t.co/79bRp1hoxp
— Mike Evans (@MikeEvans13_) January 19, 2020
As you probably know, James is arguably the most recognizable and successful NBA hoops player worldwide in the last 10+ years. He’s a 15 time All Star, a four time MVP, and helped the Miami Heat win two World Championships. And, then came back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who originally drafted him out of high school, and led them to the city’s epic first professional title in any sport in over 50 years back in 2016.
And, LeBron has the Lakers rolling at 34-8 with another win in Houston last night.
As for Evans, he is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest offensive weapon and was having a tremendous 2019 season statistically until it was cut short with a hamstring injury in the Bucs early December win over the Indianapolis Colts.
That’s when Evans suffered a severe hamstring injury on a 61 yard touchdown catch from Jameis Winston and did not play another down in 2019. Still, he joined teammate Chris Godwin, as they both went over 1,000 yards for the season, which was the first time in Tampa Bay history that that happened.
Evans is also only the second player in league history, besides Randy Moss, to have 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season in his first six years in the NFL.
Further, it’s also well-known that Evan is a huge fan of the NBA and he’s originally from Galveston, Texas and play in college at Texas A&M. So, it’s only fitting that he would be courtside during the off-season and the Rockets game against the Lakers.
Evans has made mention earlier in his career that he had met and talked to LeBron James on previous occasions. One reason that Evans brought that up during the season, was his touchdown celebration dance when Tampa Bay outgunned the L.A. Rams in late September.
In that 48 – 40 win Evans caught this clinching fourth-quarter bomb touchdown from Winston and then, celebrated with LeBron James’s signature dance move
The @Buccaneers offense is putting the smack down on this Rams D…
It’s now 45-27 after this touchdown pass to Mike Evans.
(Via – @NFLonFOX)
🗣 Comment if you played any Bucs today! pic.twitter.com/pt2QJVWbcP
— FantasyDraft (@FantasyDraft) September 29, 2019
James has previously and frequently used that on the court after a big moment, a big win or a championship.
Again “Game recognizes Game,” and clearly James wanted to give some recognition to the Bucs star whiteout Saturday night courtside at his own game.
Several Bucs and Jaguars make PFWA All Rookie Team
The Pro Football Writers Association unveiled their 2019 All-Rookie team Tuesday, and there were four state NFL players on the list.
The 2019 PFWA All-Rookie Team and rookie honors: pic.twitter.com/mmHVHWWQFx
— Pro Football Writers (@PFWAwriters) January 14, 2020
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two of their defenders made the 11-person defensive list. First round pick outside linebacker, Devin White, who was named the Rookie of the month by the NFL for both November and December is there. White came on strong in the second half of the season, including scoring two defensive touchdowns on fumble returns down the stretch.
Also on the list was Buccaneers rookie defensive back Sean Murphy-Bunting, who’s play improved as the season went on. Murphy-Bunting also recorded a game-clinching interception return for a touchdown against Detroit in December.
For the Jaguars, their first-round pick Josh Allen is also part of the all-defensive unit. Allen recorded 10.5 sacks and had another 11 tackles for loss in his inaugural season in Jacksonville. The PFWAA also placed Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor on their all rookie offensive team. Taylor was solid as a starter on the right side of the Jags line.
Although it’s not surprising is that the writers selected former number one overall pick Kyler Murray of Arizona, as their top rookie quarterback, there was an argument to be made for Jaguars rookie Gardner Minshew at that position.
Minshew won six games as a starter, including leading the Jaguars to three different last-minute victories, which was one more than what Murray had this season despite him having better stats and more starts.
PFWA did not place a Dolphin on any of their all-rookie teams. Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, whom they took in the first round, could have received some consideration as he played solidly this season.
The writers selected defensive end Nick Bosa of the 49ers, not only at their Defensive player of the year, but their overall Rookie of the Year for 2019. They did choose Oakland running back Josh Jacobs, as their offensive Rookie of the Year.
The NFL will announce its own all-rookie teams and Rookies of the year prior to the playing of Super Bowl 54 in Miami next month.
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