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Buccaneers could be missing some key starters against the Eagles

Tampa Bay is banged up.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers very well might be missing some key starters in their lineup when they play the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.

Bucs report Greg Auman says both wide receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves are “major question marks” heading into Week 2.

In addition to injuring his shoulder in Week 1, Jackson also suffered a concussion. He’s in the league’s mandatory concussion protocol and won’t be cleared to play until he passes through. Even if he does pass, his shoulder could still be an issue. For what it’s worth, NFL insider Adam Schefter said he’d “be surprised if [Jackson] plays this week” during a Wednesday morning interview with 97.5 The Fanatic.

We all know that Jackson loves to play against his former team, so I wouldn’t officially count him out just yet. His status will be worth monitoring through this week’s injury reports.

As for Hargreaves, Schefter is reporting the 2016 first-round pick “suffered a potentially season-ending shoulder injury” in Week 1. Hargreaves is set to get a second opinion today but it sounds like he’ll be out for this week.

Hargreaves might not be the only Bucs starting cornerback who won’t play on Sunday. Veteran defensive back Brent Grimes missed this past week’s game with a groin injury. If both Grimes and Hargreaves can’t play, the Bucs could be starting rookie second-round pick Carlton Davis and third-year player Ryan Smith at corner.

The Buccaneers caught everyone’s attention by managing to score 48 points in Week 1. That was impressive, yes, but Tampa Bay’s defense also allowed 40. They could be vulnerable once again with the injuries to their corners.

The Bucs’ misfortune comes at a convenient time for the Eagles considering Philadelphia’s wide receivers only managed to combine for 43 yards on nine receptions against the Falcons. Perhaps Nick Foles, who also struggled against Atlanta, and the Eagles’ receivers will be able to get going this week.

FIRST UPDATE: Hargreaves is reportedly being placed on IR.

SECOND UPDATE: Now it sounds like Bucs starting defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s status might be in doubt.


In other NFC South injury news, the Falcons just placed Deion Jones on the injured reserve list. It sounds like he’ll return later this season but he’ll have to sit out the next eight weeks. The Eagles already beat Atlanta but this injury is still worth noting since the Falcons could be very competitive in the NFC.

The Carolina Panthers are also dealing with some key injuries. Starting right tackle Daryl Williams will have surgery. It seems like he won’t be able to play against the Eagles in Week 7. Tight end Greg Olsen could also be out as he recovers from re-injuring his foot.

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