Earlier this morning Bruce Arians reported to the media that linebacker Lavonte David has a partially torn meniscus. After being re-evaluated, the team opted to have David undergo a procedure to repair the tear. With that said, the Bucs are optimistic that this injury setback will not impact his regular-season status, and will only miss the preseason. Insert linebacker Deone Bucannon.
The six-year pro will fill David’s role for the preseason. And the team seems confident in Bucannon backfilling for David, and the linebacker position as a whole. His time with the ones will come handy if David has any more setbacks.
The self-proclaimed “moneybacker” seems very confident in stepping up. Especially given his time under Arians’ system saying:
“I’m ready for whatever the coaches want; that’s what I came here for. It doesn’t matter what role it is – it could be linebacker, it could be safety, it could be special teams – I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.”
The NFL is very much a next-man-up type of league, as no team will be giving another a respite simply because they are down a key player. What this mentality does, though, is it gives players like Bucannon an opportunity to shine when it matters most.
There are plenty of examples where it only took that one opportunity to launch a player to height thought unimaginable before. Then there also numerous examples of exactly the opposite as well. If the Bucs defense has to lean on Bucannon week 1, Tampa Bay hopes it’s the former.