TAMPA — Bucs safety Cody Grimm says he had never missed a day of football in his life before breaking his left fibula in the second quarter of Sunday's loss at Baltimore.
"I don't think anyone in my family has broken a bone, not even my dad, who played 11 years," said Grimm, son of Cardinals assistant head coach and Redskins Hall of Fame offensive lineman Russ Grimm.
He and starting guard Davin Joseph, who broke a foot in the first quarter, will be placed on season-ending injured reserve, coach Raheem Morris said.
Appearing on the Bucs radio network Monday night, Grimm said he will have surgery to repair the fracture just above his left ankle Wednesday in Miami. Doctors will insert a metal plate and screws, and the starter is expected to make a full recovery in three months.
"We're going to miss those players a lot," Morris said. "But that's the nature of the beast in the NFL. The next person will step up and be ready to fill their role."
Backup center Jeremy Zuttah, who started 16 games at left guard last season, will take over at right guard the way he did for four games as a rookie when Joseph was out with a knee sprain.
Replacing Grimm, a seventh-round pick from Virginia Tech who was injured blocking during an interception return by Aqib Talib, could prove more difficult.
Since taking over for Tanard Jackson, who was suspended indefinitely after two games for violating the league's substance abuse program, Grimm has been one of the Bucs' most productive players on defense. In nine starts, he has 57 tackles, two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and a forced fumble.
"Of course, you're going to miss Cody," Morris said. "Cody was one of the guys who was a catalyst of making us become violent, making us physical, making us smart, making us consistent. All those things he brought to the table and he was able to give us. He certainly will be missed by his teammates. Him being around the locker room and being the guy that he is.
"But it is what it is. You deal in this league, and we're prepared to do that."
Sabby Piscitelli, who started 16 games at safety last season before sinking on the depth chart, will compete with Corey Lynch and Vince Anderson, who is expected to be signed from the practice squad. The Bucs are expected to sign guard Brandon Carter from the practice squad to take Joseph's roster spot.
"All those guys are working back there. So we look forward to getting better," Morris said of the safety position. "I'm looking forward to having the challenge of coaching those guys and getting those guys to go out there and prove everybody wrong again."
Morris said the Bucs would consider moving cornerback Ronde Barber to safety, but that scenario appears less likely.
"Ronde is always in that thought to go back at safety," Morris said. "Really, you don't want to move any of those guys because of how well they're playing, Aqib or Ronde. But both those guys have the mental capacity, both those guys play physical enough and do all the similar things together to able to go back there and give you some stuff at safety as well.
"I know you guys have seen some of our inverted stuff and some of the stuff we switch for those guys to put them back there. That's always a thought process we've got to go through the next few days and figure out how we want to make that thing look."