Bucs CB Jude Adjei-Barimah sidelined by knee fracture
Bucs cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, competing for the team's starting nickel job that he held for much of last season, has been diagnosed with a patellar fracture in his right knee and will require surgery that could sideline him for the 2017 season.
Adjei-Barimah, who played nickel for much of last season before a four-game suspension and two games lost to a knee injury, will have the surgery in the next few days. The exact timetable for a recovery won't be known until after surgery, but he could miss much if not all of the upcoming season recovering.
Adjei-Barimah, 25, started seven games and had 41 tackles as an undrafted rookie in 2015, and he took over as nickel early last season, replacing Alterraun Verner in the sub package and allowing then-rookie Vernon Hargreaves to stay as an outside corner on all downs.
His injury news comes a day after Bucs starting cornerback Brent Grimes sustained a deep laceration to his right shin, one that could sideline him for all of the preseason. The Bucs will likely turn to second-year pro Ryan Smith opposite Hargreaves, though Smith didn't play a snap of defense in his rookie season last year.
The Bucs would likely make a depth signing to bring in another healthy cornerback for depth and to compete for a backup spot on the roster. Tampa Bay opens the preseason Friday night at the Bengals.