Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs’ corner injuries press Justin Evans into cameo at nickel

The Bucs continue to be hit hard with injuries at cornerback, and for the third straight practice, starting safety Justin Evans was pressed into a cameo as the team's nickel cornerback on Tuesday.

"Because we're getting stressed in our depth at corner right now and nickel, Justin Evans is becoming one of those guys that has to be able to move around," Koetter said. "(Rookie corner) M.J. Stewart is in that same spot. When you get hit with injuries at one position, they don't cancel practice. We've got to figure something out. In the long run, it builds your depth."

Veteran Brent Grimes has returned healthy this week, but rookie corner Carlton Davis was held out Tuesday with an undisclosed injury not expected to be significant.

Two of the team's three normal options at nickel, Vernon Hargreaves and Javien Elliott, remain sidelined with injuries, with Hargreaves expected to miss Saturday's game at Tennessee. Needing two units to split work, they've moved Evans to the slot, with rookie Jordan Whitehead stepping in to his job as a starting safety.

Koetter said it wouldn't be a leap to see Evans and Whitehead playing together in  games, either in their current combo or as two safeties.

"I don't think it's that big of a leap … that's no knock on Chris Conte," Koetter said. "You've got to get your best guys on the field, and if your fifth DB is a safety and he's better than your fourth corner, you've got to switch it, or you just might have to in a game because of injury."

Asked if Evans could line up at nickel on Saturday, he said he's still hopeful that some of the injured players (likely Elliott and/or Davis) can return and allow Evans to stay at safety.

"You have to have a first nickel group and a second nickel group," Koetter said. "Tennessee's not going to feel sorry for us. They're going to run their stuff, and we have to be able to match up."

Comments
Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Tell us: What are you doing to celebrate FitzMagic?

Have you fallen under the spell of FitzMagic?Are you growing a beard? Naming your dogs (or your kids) after Ryan Fitzpatrick? We want to hear from you.Let us know what you're doing to celebrate the hottest player in the NFL — Tampa Bay's own Ry...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs DT Vita Vea, CB Brent Grimes return to practice, could play vs. Steelers

Bucs fans can stop the hand-wringing over injuries to DT Vita Vea and CB Brent Grimes.The Bucs' first-round pick and their best cornerback both returned to practice Thursday after missing the first two games.If everything goes well this week, Vea and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When might Jameis Winston return under center?

Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud on today's podcast to discuss if and when Jameis Winston might regain his job as starting quarterback of the Bucs.Plus, they talk about what Tony Dungy, who is set to be inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor, has met ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Just when you thought it was fun to be a Bucs fan again. Just when you were blissfully under the spell of FitzMagic. Just when the Bucs were becoming the cool kids in the NFL with the latest greatest show on turf.Just as the good times have arrived, ...
Published: 09/19/18
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Published: 09/19/18
Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

It's Ryan Fitzpatrick's world, and the NFL is just living in it.For the second straight week, the Bucs quarterback was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week.Fitzpatrick becomes the first Bucs player to ever to win that award in back-to-back we...
Published: 09/19/18
Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers backing away from letter demanding benefits

Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers backing away from letter demanding benefits

Add Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks to the list of players who have publicly disavowed specific demands and threats in a letter published Tuesday listing 21 NFL greats demanding health insurance and pension for all members.The letter threatens a boyco...
Published: 09/19/18
Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

  TAMPA — Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was sued Tuesday by the Arizona Uber driver who has accused him of sexual assault by groping her in March 2016. The woman — identified only as Kate P. in the federal court papers — is seek...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Bucs announce social justice initiative

Bucs announce social justice initiative

TAMPA — Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson stepped out of his cleats and walked in the shoes of a Tampa police officer during a simulation training session Tuesday that was eye-opening."I was a police officer doing a regular (traffic) stop and I got ...
Published: 09/18/18
Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did follow...
Published: 09/18/18