Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have just announced that Adrian Clayborn is indeed lost for the season with a right knee injury, as was reported yesterday. It's not clear exactly what Clayborn's injury consists of, but head coach Greg Schiano said it was "one of those three-letter deals". That likely means an MCL, PCL or more likely an ACL tear, and a lengthy rehab. If it's indeed an ACL tear, Clayborn will likely miss part of the offseason and it could take an extra season before he's fully recovered from the injury. That's a big blow for the second-year player, and the Bucs.
While Clayborn's play hadn't been stellar so far this season as a pass rusher, he's been particularly stout against the run and has still shown flashes as a pass-rusher. The Bucs are likely to ask DEs George Johnson and Daniel TE'o-Nesheim to fill in for Clayborn, but those players represent a significant dropoff in talent from the former first-round pick. More annoyingly, the Bucs are likely to play some more three-man lines and the lack of pass rush pressure that comes with that.
The Bucs lost Da'Quan Bowers to an Achilles injury earlier this season, and if he comes back from that injury he could help replace Clayborn - but it's still unclear when Bowers will be finished with his rehab, and how good he'll be when he does return from the injury.