Update: Pro Football Talk reports that Gerald McCoy has a broken hand. Defensive linemen have generally played through an injury like that with a soft cast, but it will certainly impact his effectiveness.
@Bucs_Nation week-to-week, depends on surgery, how soon he can be cleared to play in splint.— Jene Bramel (@JeneBramel) September 14, 2014
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have suffered a massive blow to their already-depleted defense: Gerald McCoy has been declared out for the game with a hand injury. The Bucs' defensive tackle suffered that injury in the first quarter, briefly returned in the second quarter but was then held back.
The hand injury initially didn't look too serious, as he was declared probable to return. But apparently it's serious enough to prevent McCoy from playing through it. With Adrian Clayborn on injured reserve and Michael Johnson out with an ankle injury, the Bucs defensive line is already heavily depleted. And McCoy isn't just the best player on the defensive line, he's also the best player on the team.
To make matters worse, he won't have much of an opportunity to heal before the next game, as the Bucs play the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football this week. If he can't play this game, will he be able to suit up for another game in just four days?
Meanwhile, starting middle linebacker Mason Foster suffered a shoulder injury and has not yet returned to the game, though he was declared to be probable to return. We'll see whether that holds up, too.