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Hamstring injury sidelines Bucs’ Richard Sherman in first quarter

The 33-year-old Tampa Bay cornerback didn’t return against the Eagles.
Bucs cornerback Richard Sherman walks on Lincoln Financial Field prior to Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sherman injured his hamstring in the first quarter.
Bucs cornerback Richard Sherman walks on Lincoln Financial Field prior to Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sherman injured his hamstring in the first quarter. [ MATT SLOCUM | Associated Press ]
Published Oct. 15
Updated Oct. 15

PHILADELPHIA — Less than nine quarters into his highly active Bucs tenure, Richard Sherman has been sidelined by a pulled hamstring.

Sherman, who signed with Tampa Bay on Sept. 29 and was thrust into immediate action due to injuries at the position, appeared to pull up after a downfield completion by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts on Philadelphia’s opening possession Thursday night.

Coach Bruce Arians had no update on Sherman’s status afterward. Dee Delaney, a surprise survivor of the the team’s final roster cuts in training camp, replaced Sherman.

“That’s most definitely a hard hit for us,” outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett said. “It put us in a tougher situation, but we had a lot of guys who were ready to step up. They came and did their thing, held it down.”

Each of the Eagles’ first two touchdowns was assisted by Bucs pass-interference whistles. The first, against cornerback Jamel Dean, was a 45-yard spot foul. The second, against safety Mike Edwards, was a 50-yard penalty.

Sherman had three practices (not including a Saturday walk-through) before starting Oct. 3 at New England. He played 98 percent of the defensive snaps in each of his first two contests, totaling 10 tackles.

He now joins fellow sidelined cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow) and Carlton Davis (quad), both of whom are on injured reserve.

By the numbers

5 Games in which Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean has totaled at least four passes defensed since 2019, which leads the NFL in that span. Dean had four passes defensed (including a pick) Thursday night.

6 Career games in which Bucs tailback Leonard Fournette (22 carries, 81 yards, two TDs) has run for multiple touchdowns

3,949 Career receiving yards by Chris Godwin (five catches, 43 yards), who moved into sixth place on the Bucs’ all-time list Thursday, passing Joey Galloway (3,912)

17 Touchdown passes this season by Tom Brady, who had two more Thursday. Patrick Mahomes (16) led the NFL entering the night.

195 Points scored by the Bucs this season, the most in team history through six games

227 Consecutive Brady passes without an interception, a franchise record. The streak ended when Brady’s downfield heave was picked by Anthony Harris with 57 seconds to play in the first half

Mostly a singular threat

While Eagles second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts had his moments Thursday night (including two short touchdown runs), he wasn’t able to set a precedent against the Bucs with his feet.

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Hurts finished with 10 carries for 44 yards, meaning the Bucs still haven’t allowed a quarterback to run for 50 yards or more in a game in the Arians era. The last to do so: Ravens dynamo Lamar Jackson (18 carries, 95 yards) in a 20-12 Baltimore victory on Dec. 16, 2018.

Hurts’ consolation prize — respect from his opponents. “Jalen’s a great quarterback, a great mobile quarterback,” Bucs nose tackle Vita Vea said. “It’s always tough facing guys like that. We could’ve done better in some aspects, but I think we did our best to keep him contained.”

O.J. sighting

Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of Thursday night's game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of Thursday night's game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. [ MATT ROURKE | AP ]

In his most prosperous outing since rupturing his Achilles tendon more than a year ago, tight end O.J. Howard finished with six catches (on seven targets) for 49 yards and a touchdown. The six receptions were his most in a game since a five-catch day in a 28-11 win at Jacksonville on Dec. 1, 2019.

“Juice is getting better and better,” Arians said. “He’s stepped up every week, and this was by far his best game.”

The TD reception, a two-yarder from Tom Brady that capped the game’s opening drive, was Howard’s first since catching a 28-yarder from Brady in the third quarter against the Chargers on Oct. 4, 2020. One quarter later in that same contest, Howard suffered his season-ending injury on a non-contact play during a Brady scoring throw to Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

Sign of the apocalypse?

Evidently, a fan base notorious for once booing Santa Clause is going soft. Following his one-yard scoring run late in the third quarter, Bucs tailback Leonard Fournette tossed the ball into the stands, where it was caught by a fan in an Eagles jersey. At Fournette’s behest, the fan turned around and handed it to a fan in a No. 13 Mike Evans jersey.

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