Noah Spence will undergo shoulder surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, ESPN’s Jenna Laine reports. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end played most of the season with a labrum tear, and is now getting it repaired.
The fact that he was injured for most of the season rarely showed up, and he never missed a game. While his snaps were likely limited, he still racked up a solid 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes defensed as a part-time player.
The Bucs drafted Spence out of Eastern Kentucky in the second round. Spence was arguably the best pure pass-rusher in the draft, but fell because of concerns over his abuse of ecstacy while at Ohio State, a habit that got him kicked out of that program.
Assuming Spence makes a full recovery, it’ll be interesting to see whether he can make the jump from being a part-time pass-rusher to playing as a base defensive end. His run defense was severely lacking, which is to be expected from an undersized rookie defensive end, but he certainly improved as the season wore on.