On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians said he didn't expect cornerback Carlton Davis III to be back in action "anytime soon." Now we know that Davis will miss a minimum of the next three games.
The Buccaneers placed Davis on injured reserve Thursday due to a quadriceps injury he sustained in Sunday night's game at New England. Davis joins Sean Murphy-Bunting on that list as the Bucs are now without two of their opening-week cornerbacks. Murphy-Bunting went on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated elbow in the season opener, and Arians is similarly not expecting him back in the lineup soon.
To give teams more roster flexibility while trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL altered several I.R. rules in 2020 and kept those changes for the 2021 season. Teams are now allowed to bring an unlimited number of players back from injured reserve during the season but a player placed on that list must stay on it for at least three games.
The Buccaneers did not announce a corresponding move, meaning they currently have one open spot on their 53-man roster. That spot could be filled in the days before this Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins but doesn't necessarily have to be.
Davis started each of the Bucs' first four games and recorded 15 tackles, one interception and a team-leading five passes defensed. Since the start of the 2019 season, Davis leads all NFL defenders with 42 pass breakups and is the only player with at least 35 in that span.