The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the New England Patriots Friday night at Raymond James Stadium winning 30-28 despite injuries to the three key players.
Related: Tampa Bay Bucs on a Tough Road
The Bucs lost Gerald McCoy, Adrian Clayborn and Davin Joseph to injuries. Coach Schiano says that McCoy and Clayborn should be okay, but Joseph will miss the entire season. Joseph needs surgery on his left patella (knee) tendon. This will be a big loss for the Bucs, especially for Josh Freeman. With Joseph gone, this puts the Bucs on the hunt for a new guard that is going to protect Freeman. Ted Larsen replaced Joseph in the game, but the Bucs have also liked what they have seen out of Derek Hardman in camp. Ultimately, the Bucs feel that they can replace Joseph from within.
McCoy and Clayborn will not play in the last preseason game against the Washington Redskins on Wednesday night.
There were also positives in the game. Both first round draft picks, Mark Barron and Doug Martin scored touchdowns. Barron got his first NFL touchdown after Ronde Barber tipped a pass from Tom Brady.
Brady was also sacked twice by Michael Bennett and Adam Hayward.
Rosters had to be cut down to 75 Monday, so the Bucs cut 10 rookies, moved Joseph to the IR and Da’Quan Bowers to the PUP list. Bowers should only miss six more weeks with his Achilles injury. The rookies cut were: RB De’Anthony Curtis, LS Andrew DePaola, WR Greg Ellingson, TE Collin Franklin, WR Ed Gant, P Eric Guthrie, T Mike Ingersoll, LB Brian Smith, S Tramain Thomas and CB Marquese Wheaton.
The Bucs looked much better against the Patriots than the Titans but you never know what will happen this season until it starts. I, for one, am looking forward to the season and I feel that the Bucs can pull some upsets that most people will not see coming.
Ladies, I must say that Franklin is one of the better looking guys on the team. Girls were going crazy for him at fan fest. Take a look for yourself: