The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been dealing with injuries since training camp started. The hope was that things would eventually even out, but that’s certainly not the case through the first two weeks of the season.
The Buccaneers lost wide receivers Chris Godwin and Julio Jones and left tackle Donovan Smith during their win over the Dallas Cowboys and neither player played in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Now, the Buccaneers have lost defensive lineman Akiem Hicks for the foreseeable future. Per ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, Hicks tore the plantar fascia in his foot and is expected to miss a month.
The bad injury luck doesn’t stop there, either. Per The Athletic‘s Greg Auman, head coach Todd Bowles said backup left tackle Josh Wells will “probably” miss the Buccaneers’ Week 3 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Bucs’ DT Akiem Hicks tore the plantar fascia in his foot and is now expected to be sidelined a month, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2022
Bucs coach Todd Bowles, talking on his weekly show, says that DL Akiem Hicks and T Josh Wells will “probably” miss Sunday’s game vs. Packers due to their new injuries.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 20, 2022
It’s a big blow for Hicks and the Buccaneers. Hicks was essentially brought in to replace Ndamukong Suh and add a little more juice to the pass rush. The move was risky, however, as Hicks hasn’t played a full season since 2018.
Speaking of Suh, the Buccaneers should look into bringing the five-time Pro Bowler back. Hicks’ play was middling, at best, before the injury and rookie second-rounder Logan Hall doesn’t look like he’s ready for a full-time role, either. Veteran lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches is also in the mix, but he’s more of a role player.
Suh represents a full upgrade over all of the Buccaneers’ current options, but it remains unclear as to whether or not a reunion happens. There’s a chance the Buccaneers are willing to try and get by with Hall, Nacho (Nunez-Roches), and the occasional Patrick O’Connor until Hicks returns.
But, at the same time, the Buccaneers are in full-on “win-now” mode with Tom Brady at quarterback. This mentality -outside of injury- is a big reason why the team signed veteran wideout Cole Beasley earlier Tuesday.
Suh is in a better position than Beasley, however, due to his familiarity with the Buccaneers. He played pretty well in 2021 and has had plenty of time to heal up from the knee injury he played through.
But, as with all thing in the NFL, only time will tell as to what happens.
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