Surgery on tap for injured Bucs linebacker Quincy Black
MOBILE, Ala. – Bucs linebacker Quincy Black is a long way from playing football again.
That much is clear based on the latest development in his road back from a neck and shoulder injury sustained Nov. 11 that required hospitalization.
Black is scheduled to undergo surgery later this month to help accelerate the healing of a damaged nerve, putting his future in more doubt.
“(Doctors) were waiting to see how much regrowth would happen naturally,” general manager Mark Dominik said. “This is supposed to promote the growth.”
Black’s agent, Harold Lewis, said last month that improvement was coming along slowly, but that Black’s level of discomfort had at least subsided from “excruciating pain.” Lewis said at the time the injury was not considered career-threatening, but the fact remains doctors don’t have a timetable for recovery.
Right now, Black’s not close.
“Quincy Black is still in the early stages of where he’s going to be long-term,” Dominik said.
The Bucs’ first concern is Black’s health, but there will come a time when business decisions might have to be made. If the Bucs decide Black isn’t likely to be able to play for them in the foreseeable future and release him, he would be eligible for $1 million in injury-protection pay in 2013. If his injury impacts his ability to play football in 2014, the Bucs could be on the hook for $500,000 more. Those sums do not count against the salary cap.
Black has three years remaining on a 5-year, $29 million contract. But all the guarantees in the deal have already been paid.