For the second week in a row, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost a key contributor to the injured reserve list. Last week, the offense lost third receiver Louis Murphy to a torn ACL; this week, it's the defense that takes a hit as a pectoral injury has brought starting defensive tackle Clinton McDonald's season to a premature end.
The Buccaneers also released linebacker Julian Stanford from the practice squad. Those moves create one open spot on the active roster and two on the practice squad, following Saturday's promotion of defensive end Josh Shirley. Those spots are likely to be filled before the team takes the practice field on Wednesday.
McDonald started the first six games of the season next to Gerald McCoy on the Buccaneers' interior line before sustaining his pectoral injury at Washington in Week Seven. McDonald was the team's leading tackler among defensive linemen, with 31, including two stops for loss. He is also one of the Bucs' 2015 team captains, as selected by his teammates prior to opening day.
McDonald joined the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent in March of 2014 after spending one season in Cincinnati (2010) and three in Seattle (2011-13). He was originally a seventh-round pick by the Bengals in 2010, and he won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks at the end of the 2013 campaign. In his first year as a Buccaneer, McDonald played in and started 13 games and contributed 45 tackles, 5.0 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Stanford has had two stints on the Bucs' practice squad, both lasting a week.