Bucs CB Jude Adjei-Barimah suspended four games
Bucs cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, who has been the Bucs' nickel defensive back for much of this season, has been suspended for the next four games for a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Adjei-Barimah, who has 22 tackles and two sacks this season, can return for the final two games of the season. It's the second time in as many seasons the Bucs are dealing with a late-season suspension on defense, as linebacker Kwon Alexander missed the final four games of last season on a suspension.
"I take a lot of pride in the hard work and dedication that I put in all year in preparation for each season, and that is why this situation is so difficult for me personally," Adjei-Barimah said in a statement issued by the team. "As a member of this team, it is very disappointing to have to miss the next four games and not be out there battling with my teammates as we go down the stretch. I apologize to my family, the Bucs organization, my teammates, as well as the fans for this situation. I promise to stay focused and be ready for the last two games of the regular season."
The Bucs had to play most of Sunday's game without starting cornerback Brent Grimes, who was sidelined with a quad injury, though coach Dirk Koetter said after the game that he didn't think the injury was serious. If Grimes is healthy, the Bucs would likely keep rookie Vernon Hargreaves starting at the other outside cornerback spot and move Verner into the nickel role, which is generally on the field for about 60 percent of the Bucs' defensive snaps.