Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Torn ACL puts Bucs WR Louis Murphy out for the season

TAMPA — The Bucs will be without WR Louis Murphy for the rest of the season, as the former Lakewood High and Gators star tore the ACL in his right knee in Sunday's loss to the Redskins and is headed for injured reserve.

Murphy, 28, had 10 catches for 198 yards in six games as the Bucs' No. 3 receiver this season. He injured his knee on his only catch Sunday, a 29-yard reception on the Bucs' second drive, and was on crutches in the locker room.

The Bucs finished with only two healthy receivers — starter Vincent Jackson also left with a knee injury but said he would be fine. WR Russell Shepard was inactive with a hamstring injury, but could return this week.

Tampa Bay has three receivers on its practice squad in Adam Humphries, Rannell Hall and Evan Spencer. Coach Lovie Smith said the team is likely to promote one to take Murphy's spot, mentioning Humphries had been on the active roster at the start of the season.

Don't judge: Some Bucs fans took exception to a photo on social media showing DT Gerald McCoy smiling with Redskins QB Kirk Cousins after the game, but Smith said not to take that as a sign he took the loss lightly.

"I don't think that if a guy greets someone from the other side, that that guy doesn't really feel bad," said Smith, who had former assistants on the Redskins staff. "You could have taken a picture of me hugging them after the game. That's what you do, but believe me, I felt bad. I don't think you should judge anybody based on that. I know how Gerald felt after that game. He felt like the rest of us: really bad."

Lack of focus: Starting CB Mike Jenkins said the defensive problems that are letting opponents find open receivers are due to a lack of focus, something the Bucs can fix — and need to.

"I would say lack of focus," Jenkins said. "We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and get right. That's something we can correct … It's going to come with a lot of the guys pointing at themselves."

The former USF standout said the Bucs had a chance to win Sunday just by stopping Washington on its final drive, but the defense couldn't step up when needed.

"That was a time where we needed to drop everything and ball out," he said. "It was one of those opportunities we let slip away. Hopefully if this opportunity comes again, we'll be able to man up."

This and that: RB Doug Martin is second in the NFL with 541 rushing yards, and his average of 5 yards per carry matches the best among the league's top 10 rushers. … CB Sterling Moore has seen his playing time drop considerably since losing the starting nickel job. After 14 plays vs. Carolina, he played nine defensive snaps against the Jaguars and only two in Sunday's loss. … Rookie QB Jameis Winston is completing 59 percent of his attempts, better than any Buc's percentage for a season since 2011. They've been below 57 percent each of the past three seasons.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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