Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik talked to Rick Stroud about strongside linebacker Quincy Black's recovery from surgery. Black suffered an injury in November and hasn't recovered from it yet. It is apparently a rather severe nerve injury, severe enough to maybe end his career. Stroud took to Twitter to let us know what Dominik told him.
LB Quincy Black may have played his last game for the Bucs. He had nerve graft surgery at end of Jan., GM Mark Dominik said.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 21, 2013
Black is scheduled to earn $5.5-million in base salary in 2013. He would be eligible for $1-million injury protection if can't play in '13.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 21, 2013
Bucs GM Mark Dominik on Black: "This is a unique surgery and it’s going to take time to figure out if it was successful...’’— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 21, 2013
Dominik: "...the reality is, that because of the nerve damage and the nerve grafting and everything, you won’t know if it’s successful...— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 21, 2013
Dominik"for several months. It’s a tough injury and a unique injury...it's hard for us to have any timetable or feel for it.''— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 21, 2013
In short: it seems likely Quincy Black's days are numbered with the Buccaneers. This leaves a minor hole at strongside linebacker, which the Bucs can adequately fill with Adam Hayward or Dekoda Watson. One alternative would be moving middle linebacker Mason Foster to the outside, and finding a different middle linebacker who works better in coverage.
This is all rather unfortunate. Although Quincy Black was overpaid the past two seasons and certainly did not play well, it's never good to see someone's career end because of an injury. Even more so when it's a nerve injury that could have severe long-term consequences. Hopefully Black recovers for his own sake, whether he plays football again or not.