TAMPA – What started out as a three-man battle for the Buccaneers starting slot cornerback spot is suddenly down to two, and it could stay that way indefinitely.
The Bucs have learned that former starter Jude Adjei-Barimah, who missed time last year with a right patellar injury, has re-injured the kneecap, sources have told Florida Football Insiders.
Adjei-Barimah, who missed the last two days of practice, is said to be seeking a second opinion in an effort to learn if surgery will be required to correct the problem.
The Bucs aren’t sure if surgery would end Adjei-Barimah’s season, but it’s believed that he would need at least three months to recover from the injury if it does indeed require surgery.
Adjei-Barimah emerged as the Bucs starter at slot corner last year after Vernon Hargreaves was moved to the outside but he appeared to be running second behind Javien Elliott in the race for the starter’s job this year.
Elliott stepped in for Adjei-Barimah a year ago when the latter had to miss four games after he was found to be in violation of the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
The Bucs have also been working veteran Robert McClain at the slot corner spot in practice, where Adjei-Barimah has spent most of his time working at outside corner with the second team.
Adjei-Barimah will miss Friday’s preseason opener against the Bengals in Cincinnati as will fellow cornerback Brent Grimes, who suffered a deep laceration on his right leg in practice on Wednesday.