Adding injury to insult, the league-worst Buccaneers will place a handful of players on their injured reserve list today, according to head coach Lovie Smith. Smith told reporters, including Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (Twitter link), that defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (knee), wide receiver Louis Murphy (ankle), and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back) will all move to IR.
McCoy, the former third overall pick who signed a massive extension with the Bucs earlier this year, is the biggest loss for the team. However, according to Smith (via Twitter), the defensive tackle’s injured knee won’t require surgery, which is good news for Tampa Bay. Despite battling injuries this season, McCoy was his usual dominant self, posting 8.5 sacks and grading as the league’s second-best defensive tackle through 15 weeks, per Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required).
Meanwhile, Seferian-Jenkins’ back injury isn’t expected to sideline him for too long — the decision to move him to injured reserve comes as a result of there being just two games left in the season, says Smith (Twitter link).
When the series of moves becomes official, the Bucs will have three open roster spots available with which to sign free agents or promote practice squad players.