The Buccaneers have placed defensive end Jacquies Smith on injured reserve after he suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s opener against the Falcons, the club announced today. Smith will miss the entirety of the season and will not be candidate to return from IR.
Smith, 26, was the only Tampa Bay defensive end with more than five sacks in 2015. Over the past two seasons, Smith had posted 13.5 quarterback takedowns while appearing in 23 games (18 starts). Although he’s more of a rotational player, Smith’s absence is a blow to the Buccaneers’ depth, and the club will now have to more heavily rely on second-round pick Noah Spence.
“He’s a guy who’s a starter in our nickel package and a key contributor,” said head coach Dirk Koetter. “It’s going to be tough. We’ve got to pick up the slack in other areas. Some guys have to play more snaps than they might have played before. We’re going to be tested on our depth. Any time you lose a key guy like that it’s going to be some mixing and matching.”
The Bucs now have an open spot on their 53-man roster, but the team has yet to announce how it will fill the vacancy. Notably, Tampa does not currently have a defensive lineman on its practice squad.
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