Bucs' Shorts, Stocker, Humphries exit early with injuries
The Bucs lost three key offensive players to injuries in the first half, with Luke Stocker injuring his ankle on the opening play and receiver Cecil Shorts being carted off with a potentially significant knee injury on a third-down catch on the first drive. Adam Humphries, making another third-down conversion in the second quarter, took a hit to his head/neck area and is being evaluated for a concussion.
Shorts injured his knee on a low hit by Chargers safety Jahleel Addae and had to be carted off, with the entire Bucs team leaving the sideline to be around him before he left. Stocker's return was questionable according to the Bucs, with rookie Alan Cross stepping in for him.
Humphries is also the Bucs' punt returner, and with Shorts also out, there isn't an obvious replacement -- likely cornerback Alterraun Verner or safety Ryan Smith. The Bucs enter the second half with only three receivers -- starter Mike Evans, Russell Shepard, and Freddie Martino, who made a key 17-yard catch on third-and-18 to set up a conversion on fourth-and-1.
The Bucs gave up a touchdown on San Diego's opening drive and saw Jameis Winston throw an interception on their opening possession, but the Bucs got a key sack from Gerald McCoy and the Chargers missed a field goal. Doug Martin scored on the next possession to tie the game at 7-7 entering the second quarter. San Diego added a second touchdown and Bucs rookie Roberto Aguayo missed a 31-yard field goal just before halftime, so San Diego leads 14-7 at the half.