The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost multiple players to injury during their down-to-the-wire, 24-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. At least two of those players – and probably more – won't be returning this season.
The Buccaneers did not make any official roster moves on Tuesday but Head Coach Dirk Koetter revealed that linebacker Adarius Glanton and guard J.R. Sweezy are both done for the season, both due to lower leg injuries. Glanton, who was removed from the field on a cart in the fourth quarter, had surgery that same evening.
The Buccaneers have two games remaining, at Carolina on Dec. 24 and at home against New Orleans on Dec. 31. They will likely have more than two roster holes to fill for those contests.
"There [are] a couple more that could be coming," said Koetter. "We had a bunch of guys go down and I am proud of the way our guys battled last night, but there will be a price to pay for that here this week."
Defensive end Noah Spence was the only Buccaneer regular to land on injured reserve during the first three months of the season, but the team's health situation has grown more dire in December. Tampa Bay placed starting offensive linemen Demar Dotson and Ali Marpet on injured reserve just before the start of the season's final month, and now Sweezy, the starting right guard, has joined them. Glanton started on Monday night because the Bucs were already without Lavonte David due to a hamstring injury.
Others who missed time on Monday or were knocked out of the game for good – and thus could be among the "more" mentioned by Koetter – included tight end O.J. Howard, safety Justin Evans, cornerback Ryan Smith, tight end Cameron Brate, safety T.J. Ward, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, defensive end Robert Ayers and linebacker Devante Bond. The Bucs also started the game without team leader Gerald McCoy, who had suffered a biceps injury the week before, and have played the last five weeks without cornerback Vernon Hargreaves due to a hamstring ailment.
Glanton has filled in at both strongside and weakside linebacker during injury absences by David and Kwon Alexander and he has 26 tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. Sweezy was the only Buccaneer lineman who had played every offensive snap of the season before he went down on Monday night.