Will Allen is the second Buc safety to see his season end due to a fractured thumb this fall
Jermaine Phillips recently got the cast of his right thumb. Will Allen is just being fitted for his.
It's been a tough season for Tampa Bay Buccaneers safeties and their hitch-hiking digits. On Wednesday, the Buccaneers placed Allen on injured reserve with the same injury, a fractured thumb, that previously claimed Phillips just two games into the season. In addition, the Bucs also lost third-year linebacker Rod Wilson to the same list thanks to a hamstring injury.
To fill the two roster spots opened by the season-ending injuries to Allen and Wilson, the Buccaneers re-signed fifth-year linebacker Matt McCoy and promoted first-year cornerback Derrick Roberson from the practice squad. To round out Wednesday's moves, the team also signed rookie safety Emanuel Cook, a former New York Jet, to the practice squad.
Earlier this season, the Buccaneers played four games without their offensive captain, center Jeff Faine, due to an arm injury. Now they have lost their special teams captain, Allen, for the year. Allen has also played extensively on defense this season as part of a safety rotation with Tanard Jackson and Sabby Piscitelli, and he started two games after the injury to Phillips and before the return of Jackson from a season-opening suspension.
Before his injury, Allen contributed 21 tackles on defense as well as one stop on special teams. With both Allen and Phillips now out of the picture, second-year man Corey Lynch, a September signee, presumably becomes the third man in the rotation.
Wilson was also a strong contributor on special teams before his season came to an end. He played in each of the first eight games and recorded a pair of kick-coverage stops. Wilson first joined the Bucs as a free agent pickup last December after playing two seasons with the Chicago Bears and racking up 30 special teams tackles.
McCoy begins his third stint with the team in 2009, his second year as a Buccaneer. He made the active roster out of training camp and appeared in the first two games before being released on September 26. After just one game away, McCoy returned on September 30 and played in two more contests before being released for a second time on October 13. In four games this season, he has tallied three special teams tackles. McCoy also started the season opener against Dallas at weakside linebacker when Geno Hayes was briefly benched for arriving late to the stadium on the morning of the game.
Roberson gets his second promotion to the active roster this year. He was also brought up on October 17 in time for the Bucs' Week Six game against Carolina, though he was declared inactive for that contest. After the Panthers game, he was released and re-signed to the practice squad, which he first joined on September 15. Roberson first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers with the Houston Texans in 2007. He spent portions of the next two seasons on the practice squads in Houston and Minnesota and went to camp with the Vikings this past summer.
The 5-10, 185-pound Cook also entered the league as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Jets in May after starring at South Carolina. He was eventually released by New York on the final roster cutdown on September 5. At South Carolina, he led the team in tackles in each of his last two seasons and was a second-team All-SEC choice in 2007.