The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and will likely do so without the services of starting cornerback Brent Grimes. The Buccaneers' cornerback depth will be further tested by the expected absence of reserve De'Vante Harris.
The Buccaneers added Grimes and Harris to their injury report on Friday with groin and hamstring ailments, respectively. Both were designated as doubtful for Sunday's game.
Grimes, a 12th-year NFL veteran, is the most experienced player on a mostly young crew of Buccaneer cornerbacks, having played in 135 games with 119 starts. He was expected to start in tandem with third-year man Vernon Hargreaves. Now the Buccaneers will rely on Hargreaves and some combination of their two rookies, M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, and third-year player Ryan Smith. The Buccaneers also have third-year cornerback Javien Elliott on the practice squad.
Grimes has also been the Buccaneers' most productive cornerback the past two seasons, with seven interceptions and 35 passes defensed in 29 games. Grimes led the NFL in 2016 with 24 passes defensed and is the only player in the league to have recorded at least three interceptions in each of the last five seasons.
Harris joined the Buccaneers as a waiver claim on August 12 after he had been released, coincidentally, by the Saints. A former undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, Harris played in 21 games over two seasons in New Orleans, starting two and contributing 24 tackles and three passes defensed.