TAMPA ― Richard Sherman hoped to help the Bucs to another Super Bowl when he signed with the team in September. But if Tampa Bay reaches the NFL title game a second straight year, he won’t be playing in it.
For the second time this season, the Bucs on Tuesday placed the Pro Bowl cornerback on injured reserve, this time with an Achilles injury.
Sherman said he will remain with the team and help in a coaching capacity.
“Didn’t go how I wanted it to, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to strap it up again!” Sherman said on Twitter. “Look forward to continuing this journey with my teammates and coaching my butt off. Thank you for all the support this season. The body gave it all it had and I’m grateful.”
Sherman, 33, was signed as a free agent to bolster an injury-riddled secondary. But he played in only five games with the Bucs, recording 11 tackles, one interception and a fumble recovery.
Sherman played three games in 12 days after signing with the Bucs. After being in Tampa Bay for only three days of practice, he played 98 percent of the defensive snaps in a 19-17 win Oct. 4 at New England. It was his best performance, as he had seven tackles and recovered a fumble.
Sherman missed two games before suffering a calf injury in warmups before a Nov. 14 game at Washington and went on injured reserve for the first time. Players placed on injured reserve must miss at least three weeks before they are eligible to be activated.
Agreeing to be moved to safety, Sherman returned for a 33-27 overtime win over Buffalo on Dec. 12. He played 20 percent of the defensive snaps, making his only interception of the season. He played three snaps in a 32-6 win at Carolina two weeks later but hasn’t been able to return from an Achilles injury.
Sherman has been invaluable as a mentor to the Bucs’ young secondary. From the first day, he began sharing knowledge he had acquired during 11 seasons with the Seahawks, 49ers and Bucs. A charter member of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom secondary, Sherman appeared in two Super Bowls with the Seahawks and one with the 49ers.
He signed a one-year contract with the Bucs and earned about $1.33 million. Despite not playing in the majority of games, Sherman was a constant fixture at practices and games as an extra coach. When defensive backs coach Kevin Ross missed a game against the Bears in October, Sherman donned a headset and helped organize the secondary.
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It’s unlikely Sherman will play in 2022. But if this is a wrap on his NFL career, he soon will have a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His career includes 37 interceptions, five Pro Bowl selections and a place on the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2010s.
The Bucs also activated linebacker Shaquil Barrett and placekicker Jose Borregales from the COVID-19 list. The Bucs protected Borregales, running back Kenjon Barner, tight end Darren Fells and punter Sterling Hofrichter from the practice squad.
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