Buccaneers’ Injuries Mount at Key Positions

Tristan Wirfs

Getty Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can’t catch a break on injuries at joint practices with the Tennessee Titans.

New Bucs free safety Keanu Neal went down for the rest of the preseason, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, due to an arm injury at the first joint practice on Wednesday, August 17. Then, Pro Bowl tackle Tristan Wirfs sustained “some sort of left core injury” at the Thursday, August 18, practice per Stroud. The Bucs endured another three injuries besides Wirfs on Thursday, too.

Wide receiver Tyler Johnson hurt his leg when he “came down odd” on a route to the end zone per A to Z Sports. Independent NFL reporter Dov Kleiman confirmed Johnson’s injury afterward.

On defense, the Bucs also lost cornerbacks Rashard Robinson and Zyon McCollum on Thursday per Kleiman. Other than Robinson, the Bucs lost a starter and two second-string players per the team’s depth chart. Robinson is third on the depth chart at right corner.

Todd Bowles Gives Update on Injuries

Wirfs left a big void once due to an ankle injury last season when the team fell to the Los Angeles Rams 30-27 in the NFC Playoffs. A 2020  first round pick, Wirfs started 33 games the past two seasons and emerged as a Pro Bowler in 2021.

“I’ll have to go look inside [the training room] and see,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told the media on Thursday.

Neal joined the Bucs via free agency in April after a season with the Dallas Cowboys. He posted 72 tackles and a sack last season with the Cowboys after a 100-tackle season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. The Bucs have him at No. 2 on the depth chart behind Mike Edwards.

McCollum had a strong career with a national championship at Sam Houston before the Bucs picked him in the fifth round of the draft. Second on the depth chart behind Carlton Davis III, McCollum had a tackle in the preseason opener against Miami on August 13.

“McCollum hurt his leg a little bit. He said it wasn’t serious,” Bowles said. “But I’ll find out [more] when I go in the training room.”

Bowles didn’t mention Johnson’s or Robinson’s injuries. Stroud reported that Johnson “hurt his right leg or ankle” on the passing drill.

Johnson had a strong showing in the preseason opener against Miami on August 13 with a team-high six catches for 73 yards receiving. The third-year receiver from Minnesota had 36 receptions for 360 yards last year.

Robinson played in seven games for the Bucs last season and tallied four tackles. He also played 62% of the special teams snaps in 2021. Pewter Report caught a video of Robinson tweaking his leg during a drill on Thursday.

Bucs Bothered By Injuries Throughout Camp

Injuries have troubled the Bucs throughout training camp and the preseason thus far. It started with Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen injuring his knee on July 28.

The Bucs then lost wide receivers Mike Evans to a hamstring injury, Russell Gage to a leg injury, and Breshad Perriman to a leg injury. All three receivers didn’t practice on Thursday per Greg Auman of The Athletic.

In the preseason opener, the Bucs also lost running back Giovani Bernard and linebackers Cam Gill and Grant Stuard to injury.


Read More