Brian Price's rookie season came to an end Tuesday when he was placed on injured reserve by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The promising defensive tackle, selected early in the second run of the 2010 NFL Draft, will have surgery to repair a pelvis injury and is expected to be healthy for the 2011 campaign.
In fact, the prognosis for Price has him returning to action on the practice field after the draft next spring.
The 6-1, 303-pound Price was limited by a hamstring injury during the offseason and for parts of training camp, but he was able to appear in each of the Buccaneers' first five games before his pelvis became an issue. He contributed six tackles, one tackle for loss and three quarterback pressures during limited playing time and frequently showed an explosive burst off the line of scrimmage.
Though he had played primarily as a three-technique tackle at UCLA, Price learned the nose tackle position upon arriving in Tampa as first-round pick Gerald McCoy settled in at the three-technique.
In three seasons at UCLA, Price appeared in 35 games with 30 starts and totaled 97 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 44.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and one interception. He was an All-Pac 10 choice in each of his last two collegiate seasons and was the conference's defensive player of the year in 2009.
Price was the first of two players the Buccaneers drafted in the second round of this April's draft, going 35th overall and four spots before the team also selected wide receiver Arrelious Benn. Price's return in 2011 will only add to the impact of a 2010 draft class that also includes McCoy, Benn, wide receiver Mike Williams, safety Cody Grimm, cornerback Myron Lewis, linebacker Dekoda Watson and fullback/tight end Erik Lorig.