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Report – Bucs DE Spence injures shoulder, may need surgery

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

ORCHARD PARK, NY – Buccaneers second-year defensive end Noah Spence has had a pretty quiet season thus far, recording just nine tackles, including one sack-fumble, in six games through Sunday’s loss at Buffalo.

It’s about to get even more quiet. That at least is the work from Josh Reed, the sports director at Buffalo’s WIVB-TV who appears to have learned some potentially devastating news regarding Spence.

Though he didn’t make reference to a source, Reed reported on twitter late Sunday that Spence suffered yet another shoulder injury and that this time surgery may be required to repair it.

Reed did not say which shoulder it was that Spence supposedly injured, but it’s possible Spence could have further damaged the right shoulder that was already surgically repaired once this past offseason.

Spence, as you may remember, dislocated his right shoulder and tore the labrum in it in a game against the Broncos last Oct. 2. Despite the pain, he played through the injury and actually played rather well.

Spence finished his rookie year ranked third on the team with 5.5 sacks and was expecting to build on that after having the labrum repaired but he dislocated his shoulder again during the Bucs Week 3 loss at Minnesota.

Spence has been practicing and playing with his right shoulder in a harness to keep it stable but he hasn’t quite played at the level he did a year ago, including on Sunday when he had just two tackles.

The loss of Spence would deal yet another blow to the Bucs already weakened pass rush, one that has already had to let go of the once-promising Jacquies Smith for lack of production.

Until Sunday, in fact, Spence was the only Bucs defensive end to have recorded a sack. Robert Ayers recorded his first of the season during the loss to the Bills.

The Bucs as a team have recorded just seven sacks this year and their lack of consistency as a pass-rushing unit is one reason the team has struggled to shut down opposing passing games.

The Bucs on Sunday allowed Tyrod Taylor to complete 20 of 33 passes for a season-high 268 yards and a touchdown during the Bills 30-27 comeback victory at New Era Field.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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