TAMPA — Quarterback Jameis Winston had tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins alone in the end zone late in the third quarter of the Bucs' 26-19 win over the Saints on Sunday. He misfired high, the football glancing off the left hand of his favorite target.
Seferian-Jenkins fell on his right shoulder, which was driven into the turf by safety Kenny Vaccaro.
At the time, the play seemed to only keep a few points off the board. But Tuesday, the Bucs learned it was more costly than that.
Seferian-Jenkins has a strained right shoulder and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The second-year pro from Washington leads Tampa Bay with seven catches for 139 yards (19.9 average) and two touchdowns.
Bucs coach Lovie Smith did not give any details of the injury during his news conference Monday. But Seferian-Jenkins is expected to seek a second medical opinion.
Injuries are nothing new to Seferian-Jenkins, who missed seven games as a rookie with ankle and back problems.
The Bucs telegraphed Tuesday that Seferian-Jenkins' injury might be more serious than initially thought when they signed tight end Cameron Brate off the Saints' practice squad. Brate, a Harvard graduate, played five games for the Bucs as an undrafted rookie last year after the team's tight ends were hit hard by injuries. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound tight end had one catch for 17 yards last season.
The Bucs made room for Brate by releasing linebacker Orie Lemon on Monday. Lemon had been signed last week as an injury replacement for linebacker James-Michael Johnson. Lemon played 17 snaps on special teams in Sunday's win against the Saints.
On Tuesday, Lemon, receiver Evan Spencer and guard Martin Wallace were signed to the practice squad.
To make room for the additions, the Bucs waived defensive end Kourtnei Brown, who made his NFL debut Sunday after being cut by six NFL teams.
Gone from the practice squad are former UCF receiver Rannell Hall, defensive tackle Derrick Lott and linebacker Julian Sanford.
Martin, 23, worked with Bucs special-teams coordinator Kevin O'Dea with the Chiefs in 2013 — he had 26 tackles in two seasons with the Chiefs, along with a forced fumble as a rookie in 2013.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.