You always hear the famous saying ” When one man goes down, it’s always about the next man up!” Well, the Buccaneers have been hit with a small injury bug. There is a reason why we have pre season games to help us learn who is the “next best man” in case injuries do happen. With these couple small injuries, we have this is what a backup or even third string person looks forwarded to. Not meaning they want someone to get hurt, but this gives them the opportunity to prove their worth to the team and why they deserve to be the backup.
The first Injury is the one to Kwon Alexander, The Buccaneers didn’t give much detail to his injury. They did say that it had to do with his hamstring, it isn’t very serious and he shouldn’t be out too long. There are two people getting some extra reps due to this injury: Adarius Glanton and Riley Bullough. With Kwon being sidelined for just a little bit Glanton is taking first team reps. Glanton had a really good game against the Jags last week, finishing the game with 6 total tackles (2 TFL, 1 sack). Riley hasn’t gotten much playing time, but when he is on the field, Riley is a force to be reckoned with! Riley finished last week’s game at Jags with 5 tackles (3 solos). With Kwon being out Riley is now the second string “MIKE” which means, Riley will get a lot more playing time and show why he deserves to make the Buccaneers 53 man roster.
The second Injury is actually a position which is the Offensive line. Demar Dotson had injured his groin in practice this last week in Jacksonville. Dotson tried to play through it, but thankfully the Buccaneers pulled him out of the no-stakes game. The Buccaneers are also holding out J.R. Sweezy for some time to rest. (remember Sweezy missed all of 2016) Kevin Pamphile will be swinging out to RT, Evan Smith is filling Pamphile spot at LG. Marpet is still starting center, Joe Hawley (2016 starting center) will start at RG for Sweezy, Donovan Smith will be LT. Hawley is a vet that has mainly played center, but can play GUARD. Last year the O-line had many injuries and just couldn’t stay healthy. This year’s Buccaneers depth on the Offensive line is going to play a big role in keeping Winston healthy and developing the run game.
The final injury that has given some opportunity for some other players is when Brent Grimes went down. Grimes had a NASTY gash one day during practice. Robert McClain and Ryan Smith are the two people that are fighting for that nickel position. Maurice Fleming was really making a name for himself until the last game vs JAGS. During that game, Fleming ended up tearing a small piece of his MCL. Ryan Smith played safety last year, but shows he can play corner also. McClain has always played nickel corner, He played with Coach Mike Smith in Atlanta at that position.
I NEVER want anyone to get hurt. If it had to happen, I am glad it happened in the preseason where we can really find the best man to be next in line. These guys have the opportunity to show Coach Smith and Koetter and even Licht why they deserve to be on the 53 man roster. Let’s GO BUCS!