Buccaneers Rumors

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/18

Here’s the latest from the NFL workout circuit on a busy Tuesday. All links to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/17/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s of Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • TE Nick O’Leary (link)

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Jameis Winston May Not Immediately Start Upon Return

While this may seem like overreaction to one strong performance against a suspect defensive unit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Ryan Fitzpatrick may remain the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback even when Jameis Winston returns from suspension after the team’s Week 3 matchup against the Steelers.

But that may have more to do with logistics than anything else. The Week 3 game is a Monday night contest, so Rapoport suggests that the Bucs could simply keep Fitzpatrick as the starter for Week 4 rather than have Winston make his 2018 debut on a short week.

However, Rapoport does say that Fitzpatrick’s run as the Bucs’ starting signal-caller could last for as long as he is playing well, and if he continues to perform as he did in his season-opening mastery of the Saints — which resulted in NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors — that would give Tampa Bay time to ease Winston into the flow of the season.

It is important to note that the Bucs continue to view Winston as their long-term quarterback. Obviously, the veteran journeyman Fitzpatrick is no threat to dethrone Winston on a permanent basis, and Tampa Bay is excited to see what Winston can do when he does return to the field with a talented set of receivers and new play-caller Todd Monken.

Rapoport also writes that Winston’s $20.9MM fifth-year option for 2019, guaranteed for injury only, will not have any bearing on when he returns. The Bucs will not keep their former No. 1 overall pick on the shelf to avoid triggering that guarantee, and they fully intend to reinsert Winston into the starting lineup as soon as they feel it is in their best interest to do so (which may still be in Week 4).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DeSean Jackson Expected To Play In Week 2

  • DeSean Jackson appears set to have another chance to face his original team. The Buccaneers wide receiver is expected to surmount concussion protocol and be on the field against the Eagles on Sunday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Jackson had his best game as a Buccaneer last week, hauling in five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

NFC Injury Notes: Rodgers, Falcons, Eagles

Aaron Rodgers will enter Sunday with a questionable designation on the Packers‘ injury report. The two-time MVP can improve his chances of playing, obviously, by practicing Saturday — when the Packers do more than the typical walkthrough — but not doing so won’t prevent him from playing. Mike McCarthy said he’d have no issues deploying Rodgers even if he doesn’t practice all week, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. The 13th-year Green Bay coach said his quarterback feels better than he did at the beginning of the week. Despite Rodgers’ performance on Sunday against the Bears and his history of playing through left knee pain, he’s not a lock to face the Vikings.

Here’s the latest from the NFC’s injury situations.

  • Another key Falcons cog won’t be available Sunday. After the losses of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, Atlanta won’t have the services of starting running back Devonta Freeman. He’s been declared out due to the knee injury he suffered against the Eagles. Tevin Coleman will start. The Falcons have rookie Ito Smith and recently signed Brian Hill in place as backups.
  • Once again, the Giants won’t have their top pass rusher available. While the Giants are hoping to have Olivier Vernon in Week 3, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter), his high ankle sprain will keep him out against the Cowboys.
  • Trai Turner‘s stay in Panthers concussion protocol will result in him missing this week’s game against the Falcons. He’s been declared out, putting Carolina down three starting offensive linemen — Turner and tackles Matt Kalil and Daryl Williams, both of whom residing on IR — going into its NFC South opener.
  • The already-banged-up Eagles didn’t come out of Week 1 unscathed. Darren Sproles will miss Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. The 34-year-old passing-down back sustained a hamstring injury against the Falcons. He’ll join Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery among Philadelphia’s high-profile Week 2 absences.
  • Already without IR-stationed cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, the Bucs won’t have Brent Grimes available to cover Eagle wideouts, either. Tampa Bay used two second-round picks on corners, Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, and could see an extended glimpse of the rookies’ development to this point in their careers.
  • The Lions49ers game will see the visitors without top guard T.J. Lang and the hosts missing deep threat Marquise Goodwin. Both players have been declared out. Kyle Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, on Twitter) Dante Pettis will start in place of Goodwin.

Buccaneers Notes: Monken, Koetter, Pierre-Paul, Jackson, Hargreaves

The Buccaneers’ offensive explosion in Week 1 caught pretty much everybody by surprise. The Bucs scored 48 points and won fairly easily on the road in New Orleans. Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Although it was mostly the same personnel from previous seasons, there was at least one major change. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken was calling plays instead of head coach Dirk Koetter according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. Koetter had always called plays during his time in Tampa Bay, but relinquished the play calling duties to Monken after he excelled in the role during the preseason. If Week 1 is any indication, it doesn’t look like Koetter will be asking for the responsibility back anytime soon.

Here’s more from Tampa:

  • The injuries just keep piling up for the Bucs on defense. Vernon Hargreaves was recently placed on injured reserve, top corner Brent Grimes‘ status is still unclear, and now star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a knee injury according to Laine (Twitter link). Pierre-Paul told Laine his knee was “jacked up” and that while he hopes to play this Sunday he’s “not really sure” if he’ll be able to.
  • The injuries aren’t only on defense. Receiver DeSean Jackson is in the concussion protocol according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). In addition to the concussion, Jackson is nursing a minor shoulder injury and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to go Sunday against the Eagles, although at this point it looks like he’ll probably play assuming he clears the protocol.
  • It was reported earlier this week that Hargreaves would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and now more details are in. The 11th overall pick of the 2016 draft has a torn labrum according to Laine. Although he struggled his first two years in the league, Hargreaves reportedly had a very strong camp to win the starting job, and it’s a huge blow to the Bucs’ already thin secondary.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/12/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: WR Frank Stephens

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL J.J. Dielman

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Buccaneers To Place Vernon Hargreaves On Injured Reserve

The Buccaneers were dealt another blow to their secondary with an injury to Vernon Hargreaves, and it’s serious enough that the team will place him on injured reserve, a source told Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

Stroud adds that the shoulder injury is “season ending” so it doesn’t sound like Hargreaves is a candidate for one of the Bucs’ two designated to return spots. It was reported yesterday that the injury was potentially serious, and now we have confirmation. Hargreaves, a starting cornerback, was supposed to be an integral part of the Buccaneers’ defense.

The team was already without number one corner Brent Grimes in Week 1, and the secondary is now extremely thin. It would be pretty surprising if the Bucs don’t bring in some outside help sometime this week. The team met with Bashaud Breeland earlier this week, and adding him to the roster would make a lot of sense.

Hargreaves, the 11th overall pick in the 2016 draft, has had a disappointing career this far. Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the worst cornerbacks in the league through his first two seasons, but Bucs’ coaches and executives were reportedly still high on him and expecting him to make a leap in 2018. He’s still just 23, but it’s a huge blow to his development.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/11/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

  • DT Du’Vonta Lumpkin (link)

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins