Depth chart goes kaboom

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The Buccaneers released the depth chart for tonight’s preseason kickoff versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday. Since then, injuries have been piling up. Not just your I-stubbed-my-toe kind of injuries either.

Depth Chart Release Jinx 

Call it the Depth Chart Release Jinx. Since the first chart release, five players have gone down, and some — out. Vita Vea suffered a sprain LCL during positional drills at practice Tuesday and could be out for what ESPN’s Adam Schefter is speculating could be 6-8 weeks. ESPN’s Bucs reporter Jenna Laine says 4-5 weeks.

Undrafted rookie D’Cota Dixon was having a promising camp when he suffered a shoulder injury Thursday during practice.

Mike Liedtke also sustained a shoulder injury on Tuesday.

Others Who Went Before Them

Lavonte David, third-year safety Justin Evans, Jason Pierre-Paul, rookie receiver Scotty Miller, and rookie quarterback Nick Fitzgerald have been out of practice for some time. Linebacker Jack Cichy, who underwent surgery in October for a torn ACL, was activated from the PUP list last month. He returned to practice, but it’s unknown when he’ll play this preseason. He’s another player who didn’t travel with the team but remains listed on the depth chart.

Fool Injury Report?

A link to the Buccaneers full injury report is here. As you’ll see, there’s no one on it. Just as injuries have not been reported on the Buccaneers official site, the roster hasn’t either. It still reflects Vita Vea first-team nose tackle, Jamel Dean second-team safety, and linebacker Anthony Nelson backing up Carl Nassib. There is no reported injury news on Nelson, just that he was among the list of players who didn’t travel to Pittsburgh with the team. At least Dixon and Liedtke were removed from the depth chart.

Next Man Up

Speaking of removed, Liedtke was released Wednesday under injury designation. Rookie guard Zack Bailey is among the players unexpectedly moving up the depth chart due to injuries. Bailey will get a chance to prove himself as he steps in to replace Liedtke behind Ali Marpet, but guard depth is shaky.

Injuries are an unavoidable, inevitable effect of what happens once the pads come on in practice. There’s no way around it and the Buccaneers are certainly not alone.

Perhaps the Pewter Pirates are just getting injuries out of the way now so that they’ll be in good shape for post-bye action. Yes, that’s what it is.

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