The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season is over and now, they must focus on the future. One of the most pressing issues for them will be deciding who their next cornerback should be.
The buccaneers head coach is Bruce Arians. He has a grim update on the Buccaneers’ cornerback situation after releasing Brent Grimes and trading for Eli Apple.
Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis may not be back anytime soon, according to Getty.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been devastated by injuries so far this season, and it doesn’t seem like things will improve anytime soon.
While star tight end Rob Gronkowski’s injury has gotten the most attention, the team’s defensive backfield is the source of the greatest worry.
Several of the Buccaneers’ top defensive backs are presently out with injuries. Over the first few weeks of the season, Carlton Davis III (quad), Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow), Jamel Dean (knee), and Antoine Winfield Jr. have all sustained significant injuries.
According to head coach Bruce Arians, Davis and Murphy-Bunting seem to be long-term commitments. On Wednesday, October 6, at his media availability, Arians provided a somber update on the Buccaneers’ cornerback situation. The Buccaneers’ head coach said that neither cornerback will return anytime soon.
According to Buccaneers team writer Carmen Vitali:
Bruce Arians has delivered some disappointing news, stating that cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting would not be returning from injuries anytime soon.
— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) on the 6th of October 2021
Davis sustained his quad injury against the New England Patriots in Week 4. Due to the illness, the 24-year-old had to leave the game shortly before halftime. Arians said after the game that the ailment could take a long to heal. On Wednesday, he clearly backed up his earlier comments.
Murphy-Bunting, a fellow 24-year-old cornerback, has been out of action since Week 1 with a dislocated elbow. Since then, he’s been on injured reserve, and the Buccaneers have yet to provide an official timeline for his return.
If there’s any good news about Murphy-Bunting, it’s that, as Arians stated on Monday, October 4, the nickel cornerback is making progress in his rehabilitation (per Greg Auman of The Athletic).
Sean Murphy-Bunting is progressing in his recovery from an elbow injury, according to Arians, but he’s still “a ways” away from returning. He doesn’t seem to be in play for the next two games.
October 4, 2021 — Greg Auman (@gregauman)
Both of the team’s best defensive backs, on the other hand, are unlikely to return anytime soon. And, given the team’s present defensive backfield weakness — the unit ranks dead last in passing yards allowed and 30th in touchdowns allowed — this isn’t good news for the reigning Super Bowl winners in the long run.
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Winfield’s participation in Week 5 is uncertain.
While Winfield’s injury does not seem to be as serious as his colleagues’, the rookie safety may not be cleared for the Buccaneers’ Week 5 game against the Miami Dolphins.
On Monday, October 4, Arians said that the 23-year-old will have a tough time clearing protocol in time for Sunday.
Andrew Adams would be the next man up if Winfield Jr. is unable to play against the Dolphins. Although the 28-year-old has started 32 games in his career, he hasn’t done so since the 2019 season.
Ross Cockrell would presumably start in lieu of Davis in the Buccaneers’ cornerback position. Richard Sherman, who was signed on September 29th, would almost certainly be inserted into the starting lineup for the second week in a row.
Sherman on the Buccaneers’ First Game: “My Legs Felt Like Jell-O”
Sherman, speaking of the new Buccaneers cornerback, saw plenty of action in his debut game with the club.
Sherman made his club debut against the Patriots only days after joining with Tampa Bay, having only participated in three team sessions. The 33-year-old cornerback played in 98 percent of the team’s defensive plays, recording seven tackles and a fumble recovery in the process.
Sherman had a unique response to his surprise start at his media availability on Wednesday, October 6: during the fourth quarter, his legs felt like Jell-O.
According to Scott Smith, senior writer/editor for the Buccaneers:
CB The initial idea for Sunday night, according to Richard Sherman, was for him to play some but take rests. After Carlton Davis was injured, he knew there would be no subs. By the fourth quarter, his legs were like Jello, he said.
October 6, 2021 — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs)
One can only image how he’ll feel after this Sunday’s game, given that he’ll likely make his second straight start less than two weeks after signing with the Buccaneers.
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