Buccaneers Get Update on WR Russell Gage After Scary Injury

Russell Gage

Getty Russell Gage took a scary hit to the back of his neck against the Cowboys on Monday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looked on in silence as wide receiver Russell Gage took a scary shot to the back of the neck in the final three minutes of Monday’s January 16 Wild Card loss.

Brady couldn’t connect on a red zone pass attempt to Gage, which left the veteran receiver laying in intense pain on his back after slipping and taking a blow from the arm of Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson.

Players from both the Bucs and Cowboys gathered around Gage as medical personnel carted him off the field secured to a spinal board after a few minutes of on-field attention. For that time, the Bucs’ 31-14 loss to the Cowboys paused in silence on Monday evening.

Players on the field and in the stands prayed for Gage, and people expressed their prayers for Gage on social media, too. Pro Football Doc’s Dr. David Chao said, based on the video, paralysis isn’t a concern. Gage notably gave a thumbs up as he was carted away.

“They took him to the hospital for now,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters about Gage in his postgame press conference. “He has a concussion right now. They’ll also test him for a potential neck injury.

“His fingers were moving when he was down there,” Bowles added. “I don’t know about the rest.”

Gage signed with the Bucs as a free agent in the 2022 offseason. He finished the season with 51 receptions for 426 yards and a career-high 5 touchdowns.  He had 2 catches for 10 yards in the loss to the Cowboys.

Gage had been dealing with injuries off and on throughout the season, including a back injury against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, in Week 18.

Todd Bowles Credits Cowboys for Execution

The Cowboys dominated the Bucs from the second quarter on as Brady and company couldn’t find a way to rally from an 18-0 halftime deficit.

“Big credit to them,” Bowles said about the Cowboys. “They executed both sides of the ball. I think they were great in the red zone, scoring and defending in the red zone.”

Dallas snatched away the Bucs’ lone chance to tie the game 6-6 when Brady got picked off by Jayron Kearse in the back of the end zone. The Cowboys kept it 6-0 and scored 18 more unanswered points for a 24-6 lead.

“I think Dak [Prescott] got the ball out and found some places though we made our own blunders well enough to help them along, but they deserve all of the credit,” Bowles said.

Miscues included a blown coverage on fourth down to open the final quarter when Prescott found wide receiver CeeDee Lamb on an 18-yard touchdown for a 31-6 lead. It virtually shut down any chance of an epic Brady comeback.

Bucs Defensive Woes Well Beyond Dak, Dalton Schultz Play

Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz gave the Bucs all kinds of trouble with 7 receptions for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bowles said the defense’s issues went well beyond that.

“There were specific issues doing a lot of things tonight. It wasn’t just covering tight ends,” Bowles said. “Just misdirection. We busted a few things. We missed some tackles. We didn’t play well defensively.”

Tampa Bay’s defense gave up 425 yards and couldn’t stop the Cowboys on third or fourth down. The Cowboys went 7-13 on third downs and a perfect 2-2 on the fourth downs.

Read More