The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be making a switch with Richard Sherman.
The 33-year-old cornerback has been sidelined with injuries since last appearing in a game back in Week 6 on October 14 versus the Philadelphia Eagles. While there’s no definite timetable regarding Sherman’s return as he continues to deal with a calf injury, we may have a more concrete plan as far as his usage is concerned.
While speaking to reporters on Monday, December 6, head coach Bruce Arians revealed how the Buccaneers could use Sherman at safety once he’s back on the field.
“That’s a possibility,” Arians said. “(Sherman) is going to start learning safety, also. So that’s good. Having Sherm here, he’s a veteran player and can play a lot of positions. We’ll look at that this week and see if that’s a fit for us.”
ALL the latest Bucs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bucs newsletter here!
Bucs Running Short on Safeties
The veteran cornerback made three appearances with the Buccaneers before his injury, recording 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Sherman was supposed to return on Nov. 14 versus the Washington Football Team, but injured his calf during pregame warmups. He’s been out ever since.
Sherman will practice this week and could be ready to return in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills, according to Stroud.
The Buccaneers are currently deal with a shortage of safeties following Mike Edwards’ three-game suspension for violating COVID-19 protocols. Edwards won’t be allowed to return until Week 16 on December 26 versus the Carolina Panthers.
Meanwhile, safety Jordan White also missed this past Sunday’s game versus the Atlanta Falcons due to a calf injury.
Considering Sherman’s willingness to play any role the Buccaneers ask of him — he started several days after signing and has played a coaching role for the Bucs — and due to Tampa Bay’s current situation with injuries, don’t be surprised at all to see the former All-Pro cornerback line up at safety this Sunday.
Sherman Not Opposed to Playing Safety
The idea of Sherman playing safety was something he referenced back in 2018. He once said that “everybody makes the transition to safety,” when outlining his goal to play until 35 years old.
“I think 35 is probably my cutoff,” Sherman said, via ESPN. “They’d have a hard time getting me out of the bed at 35 to go play, so I think I’ve got about four or five more [seasons] in me. At some point, everybody makes the transition to safety and if you’re smart enough to play that game and I’ll probably do that in a couple of years or whenever the team needs.”
Sherman isn’t wrong. Great cornerbacks in the past have made the transition to safety to finish out their careers, with the most recent and famous example being Charles Woodson.
Woodson was a cornerback during the first 14 seasons of his career, but played the final four of them as a strong safety and free safety for the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders. During his final season as a strong safety in the NFL, Woodson was named to the Pro Bowl.
If the Buccaneers can receive any sort of contributions out of Sherman as a safety, it’ll be a win-win situation for both parties.