It’s been a busy day for the Buccaneers, as the team lost a player on both sides of the ball. The organization announced that cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah has been suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. Meanwhile, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers have also placed offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk on the injured reserve. Cornerback Javien Elliot and offensive lineman Josh Allen have been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spots.
Adjei-Barimah, an undrafted free agent in 2015, has been relatively productive during his one-plus season in the league. Following a solid rookie campaign, the cornerback has compiled 22 tackles, two sacks, and two passes defended in 10 games (one start) this season. The second-year pro released a statement regarding the suspension:
“I take a lot of pride in the hard work and dedication that I put in all year in preparation for each season and that is why this situation is so difficult for me personally. As a member of this team, it is very disappointing to have to miss the next four games and not be out there battling with my teammates as we go down the stretch. I apologize to my family, the Bucs organization, my teammates, as well as the fans for this situation. I promise to stay focused and be ready for the last two games of the regular season.”
With Adjei-Barimah out until at least December 19th, the team will likely rely on Alterraun Verner and Josh Robinson to spell starters Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes.
Gottschalk, a former undrafted rookie out of SMU, made his NFL debut earlier this month. The lineman started this past weekend’s contest against the Chiefs while his fellow lineman recovered from injury. The Buccaneers should see the return of three lineman this week in Kevin Pamphile, Evan Dietrich-Smith, and Leonard Wester.
The additions of Elliot and Allen will briefly fill the holes caused by Adjei-Barimah’s suspension and Gottschalk’s injury. Allen played three games for the Buccaneers back in 2014, while Elliot is a former walk-on for the FSU football team. The duo have spent the entire season on the Buccaneers’ practice squad.
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