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Buccaneers hit by litany of mostly minor injuries

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You know it's football season when the injuries start piling up. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seeing more and more players being held out of practice with various (mostly undisclosed) ailments.

In today's practice, the Bucs were missing linebacker Orie Lemon, defensive end T.J. Fatinikun, defensive end Jacquies Smith, guard Logan Mankins and tackle Kevin Pamphile. Lovie Smith has said that none of those injuries are serious, but we've seen his "not serious" injuries spiral into three week absences before. And with two key starters on that list -- Smith and Mankins -- the Bucs are having to tap into their limited depth already.

Making things even more annoying is the fact that the Bucs are always coy about both the nature of these injuries, and the expected timetable of return. We have no way of really evaluating the impact of these injuries on the team because of that -- which is why the Bucs don't talk about these injuries of course.

Of course, not all the injuries the Bucs have been hit with so far are minor. Demar Dotson's expected to miss anywhere from two to six games, depending on his recovery from a severely sprained MCL. Chris Conte has been out since the second day of training camp, and it's not at all clear when he's going to be back. And then there's Akeem Spence, who will miss several months after having back surgery -- and may not have a roster spot once he comes back from both injury and a one-game suspension.