The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to play defense without star linebacker Lavonte David for the immediate future. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, David is expected to miss a month or more with a high-ankle sprain.
#Bucs star LB Lavonte David was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain following his MRI, source said. Expected to miss about a month or more.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2017
David suffered the ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of the team’s crushing loss to the Minnesota Vikings when he rolled up his ankle. David had to be carted off, but at least he’ll be able to return to play this year.
With David out, the Bucs will likely give more playing time to rookie Kendell Beckwith, who looked very impressive replacing Kwon Alexander the last two games. The Bucs hope to have Alexander back from a hamstring strain soon, which would allow them to get both Beckwith and Alexander on the field.
Still, losing David is a massive blow. He’s one of the fastest and best 4-3 linebackers in the NFL, a sideline-to-sideline player who’s outstanding against the run and in coverage. He’ll be hard to replace and his absence will be a problem for an already injury-wracked Bucs defense.