Injuries force Bucs to become flexible
/ Buccaneers

By Evan Winter

First, it was the right side of the offensive line that was hit by multiple injuries. Now, it’s the secondary that has the same issue.

But injuries be damned, the Bucs are finding ways to fight through the misfortune.

Whether it’s playing rookies more often or moving other players around, Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith are doing everything they can to make the best of a bad situation.

Brent Grimes was the first Buc down and then a practice-field injury led to the waiver of David Rivers. After Vernon Hargreaves III hurt his groin during the Bucs’ first preseason game, fellow defensive back Javien Elliot followed soon after.

At one point, the Bucs had just six corners available and five of them were rookies.

Grimes returned to practice on Monday, but the Bucs are still very thin at the position. This has led Tampa Bay to experiment with different strategies - such as Justin Evans in the starting slot role and rookie Jordan Whitehead starting at safety.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s the fact these injuries are happening now as opposed to the middle of the season. At least the Bucs get a chance to see what they have early on and can make their assessments based off more than the average amount of reps these players would usually see during the preseason....

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