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Buccaneers place Gerald McCoy, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Louis Murphy on injured reserve

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver on injured reserve, Lovie Smith announced today. Seferian-Jenkins has been struggling with a back injury for weeks now, while McCoy suffered a knee sprain and Murphy a high ankle sprain during yesterday's game.

With only two weeks left in the season, none of those players will be healthy enough to contribute the rest of the way, but none of their injuries should present long-term problems, either. Clinton McDonald should take over for Gerald McCoy, with Da'Quan Bowers contributing as well, while Russell Shepard and Robert Herron should get some looks at wider receiver in Murphy's place.

Seferian-Jenkins has been particularly limited in his rookie season, only playing nine games and catching 21 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns on the year, but he showed the same athletic promise we saw in college. He should be a more significant contributor next season, and Smith sounded optimistic about his future today.

Smith was also impressed with Murphys play this season, and implied that they'd like to bring the veteran back next season after his 56 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns this season. McCoy will continue to be the face of the franchise and one of the team's two best players, of course.

With the season nearly over, these injuries don't matter much for the team's long-term future, but they should give the Bucs a chance to see a few young backups in action and evaluate them and their future on the team.