The Bucs announced Thursday that they have placed starting cornerback Carlton Davis on injured reserve, meaning he’ll miss a minimum three contests.
Davis sustained a quad injury late in the first half of the 19-17 win in New England while playing on a punt return unit designed to guard against the fake. As a result, three of the team’s four opening-day starters in the secondary aren’t expected to play Sunday against the Dolphins.
Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (dislocated elbow) also is on injured reserve, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. remains in concussion protocol.
“I’ve been coaching in this league over 20, 21 years, I might have had a healthy secondary maybe three or four of them,” defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said Thursday. “It’s next man up, nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. ... It’s our job as coaches to get everybody ready to play when they come in the building, and you survive and advance this early in the season.”
Look for All-Pro veteran Richard Sherman, who signed with the Bucs only eight days ago, to log his second straight start at corner opposite veteran Pierre Desir, who joined Tampa Bay’s practice squad only last month.
Sherman played 58 of 59 snaps — after only two full practices — against New England, totaling seven tackles and recovering a fumble. Desir played 26, registering two tackles.
“I think (Desir) is a veteran who has played a lot of football and he’ll be fine,” Sherman said Wednesday.
“We’ll communicate and go over the indicators and the keys and find spots where we can find success with this (Dolphins) offense. They’re doing things a little different with (Jacoby) Brissett under center than they were with Tua (Tagovailoa). They were running a little more (run-pass option) and they still try to do some of the RPO stuff with Brissett, but not as much.
“It’s really about just being detailed, understanding your indicators and trusting them.”
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