Bucs' Noah Spence having surgery to repair torn labrum
Bucs rookie defensive end Noah Spence, who ranked among the NFL's rookie leaders with 5.5 sacks this season, is having surgery today to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Spence, a second-round pick out of Eastern Kentucky, injured his shoulder early in the 2016 season and said he had dislocated the shoulder with a slight labrum tear. He played the rest of the season with a harness on the shoulder to limit the chance of another dislocation, and he did dislocate the shoulder again in the final game, popping it back in and returning to the game. There is no immediate timetable for his healthy return, but a full recovery is expected. ESPN reported the surgery first.
Spence ranked sixth among NFL rookies with 5.5 sacks, and only one of the five players with more sacks was drafted after he was (Jaguars' Yannick Ngakoue, 3rd round). Spence was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November -- he had 4.5 sacks and 15 sacks in a span of six games in the middle of the season; he had only two tackles in the five games before that, and had no sacks and only fivve tackles in the five games after that.
"Noah's improving, and that's why he was picked where he was picked," Koetter said after Spence got NFL Rookie of the Week honors after 1.5 sacks in the Bucs' win over Seattle. "He's a good football player."