TAMPA – The already bad news regarding Buccaneers defensive end Jacquies Smith got a little worse on Friday.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter revealed that Smith, who was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list earlier in the week was put there because he recently suffered a setback.
Smith has been trying to recover from a knee injury he suffered in Week 1 last year and there was hope he’d be ready to go for the start of training camp but the start of the new season is now in jeopardy.
Koetter said Smith was scheduled to undergo “a procedure’’ on the knee on Friday and that he would be down for a few weeks, but given Smith’s history the timetable could be much longer.
This is quite a blow to the Bucs. They had an adequate pass rush a year ago, but they were hoping the combination of Smith and Noah Spence on passing downs would give it a boost.
It’s interesting that the Bucs signed a defensive end on Friday, adding former Giant and Viking Justin Trattou to the team. Trattou, though, has mostly contributed on special teams.
The player to keep an eye on going forward is Ryan Russell. The Bucs believe Russell has some special pass rush ability and he could get a chance to show it now that Smith is out.