The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ruled out three starters for Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Flacons. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (biceps), linebacker Lavonte David (hamstring) and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) will not suit up for the game with various injuries.
That’s a pretty hefty blow to the Bucs’ defense, which will be missing its two best players, including the only one capable of mounting any kind of consistent pass-rush threat this season. David has also been key in producing turnovers, the one thing that gave this defense some occasional and inconsistent life, as he’s had five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 2017.
At least Hargreaves’ absence shouldn’t be a massive problem: he hasn’t taken the field in a month due to that hamstring injury, and the defense isn’t any worse than it was before he was playing. Not that it’s good, mind you.
Meanwhile the Atlanta Falcons ruled out running back Tevin Coleman and guard Andy Levitre. That’ll hurt them a little, but neither blow should prove disastrous. If the Bucs want to save their season against the Falcons, they’ll have to do so while being significantly more injured than their opponents.