Bucs lineman Gerald McCoy likely lost for the season
For the second consecutive season, it appears Gerald McCoy’s season will end on injured reserve.
Sunday was a day filled with optimism and relief for the defensive end, making his return to the lineup from a two-game absence because of an ankle injury. But in the first quarter, McCoy suffered what teammates described as a torn biceps muscle, an injury that almost certainly will be season-ending.
McCoy, the NFL's No. 3 overall draft pick in 2010, suffered a torn biceps in his left arm last season, but now is said to have torn the right biceps.
“Hey, stuff like that happens, man,” DT Brian Price said. “I feel bad for him because he had the same injury last year, just on the other arm. My heart goes out to him because I know how hard it is being on I.R. I just hope he gets better.
“We can’t count our losses and be sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep pushing.”
Having to play the majority of the game without their most important defensive lineman, the so-called under tackle, the middle of the Bucs’ defense was exploited against the run.
Compounding the problem was the fact that backup DT Frank Okam didn’t make the trip, remaining in Tampa because of a calf injury. That left the Bucs with just two true defensive tackles – Price and Roy Miller.
Coach Raheem Morris substituted ends Da’Quan Bowers and George Johnson periodically, but neither is suited to play on running downs against much bigger interior offensive linemen.
“We had guys like Bowers and George come in, but they’d just come in for about one or two plays and then get back out there,” Price said.
Still, the Bucs will have to face this reality. And it won’t be easy.
“It’s unfortunate,” CB Ronde Barber said. “You hate to see that happen, especially with a young player. We’re a different team without him.”