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Bucs Lose Crabtree, Unsure About Revis

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Tom Crabtree becomes the third tight end to land on Tampa Bay's injured reserve list due to a biceps tear, but the team is not yet sure about the extent of CB Darrelle Revis' groin injury

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tom Crabtree will become the third Buc tight end to hit IR after suffering a torn biceps Sunday
  • CB Darrelle Revis underwent an MRI exam on Monday to determine the extent of his groin injury
  • The Bucs are hoping Revis' injury is short-term but will have to make defensive adjustments if not
Tampa Bay's third consecutive victory came at a price.  Now the Buccaneers are hoping that price doesn't go up.

This much is certain: tight end Tom Crabtree is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn biceps in Sunday's 24-21 win at Detroit.  While Tim Wright has emerged as the team's primary receiving threat at the tight end position, Tampa Bay was already very thin at the position after earlier losing both Luke Stocker and Nate Byham to injured reserve earlier in the season.  With Crabtree joining them, the Bucs are left with only Wright at the tight end position on the active roster, though first-year player Matt Veldman is on the practice squad.

Crabtree will have surgery to repair his injury this week.

Where the Buccaneers are hoping for better news is at cornerback, which has also seen its share of injuries this season.  Darrelle Revis suffered potentially the most impactful one yet when he hurt his groin in the first half of Sunday's win.  Revis did not return to the game in the second half, and he has undergone an MRI examination to determine the extent of the injury.  Head Coach Greg Schiano said the team is hopeful that Revis' ailment is a "short-term" situation but that the final verdict isn't known yet.

-- CB D. Revis only got one half of work against Lions WR Calvin Johnson Sunday
"We don't know the severity of it," said Schiano, whose staff had devised a defensive game plan around Revis spending the entire game shadowing Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.  "It was severe enough that he [didn't go back into the game].  I know he wanted to play in that game, desperately.  That was a great matchup and the first half felt like two championship fighters just feeling each other out a little bit.  It was mostly jabs and then it was going to be an interesting second half."

The Buccaneers lost cornerback Michael Adams to injured reserve just last week, and also have Rashaan Melvin and Anthony Gaitor on that list.  Cornerback Danny Gorrer, who had a forced fumble and a blocked punt on Sunday in Detroit, has only just returned from the injured reserve/designated to return list and rookie CB Johnthan Banks had to work his way through a painful shoulder injury last week.

It is Revis, of course, who is the linchpin to that unit, given his proven ability to play lockdown man-to-man coverage on any receiver in the NFL.  Prior to Sunday's game, Pro Football Focus had Revis graded as the top-performing cornerback in the NFL in 2013, his first year with the Buccaneers after a blockbuster trade in April brought him over from the New York Jets.  If the Buccaneers are without Revis next Sunday in Charlotte, they will likely have to make some alterations on their defensive approach.

"It's not a whole new scheme," said Schiano.  "When you have Darrelle Revis you can tinker with it a little bit.  You can take your resources and dedicate them away from him.  You say, 'Hey, look, he's going to take care of his guy and we can use the rest to take care of the rest.  So if we don't have him, that will present some [issues]."

With Crabtree headed to injured reserve, the Buccaneers will have a spot open on the 53-man roster.  Obviously, there is a good chance they will use that spot on a tight end, but the solution at the position on game day could involve a variety of options.  In some packages, fullbacks and tight ends are used somewhat interchangeably, and the Buccaneers do have three players at the fullback position in Erik Lorig, Spencer Larsen and Lonnie Pryor.

“We’re working as we speak – certainly outside the building, inside the building," said Schiano of the efforts to shore up the tight end position.  "We’re trying to figure out the best way. It’s always about getting the best 11, and then it’s different packages, trying to get 12, 13. I’m not sure what that answer is yet. We’ll probably have some more information by Wednesday.”