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Buccaneers’ Kendell Beckwith out for 2019, career possibly over

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Beckwith, who missed 2018 after an offseason car accident, is now going to miss 2019 as well.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers placed linebacker Kendell Beckwith on the reserve/non-football injury list Friday, which means he will miss all of the 2019 season.

Beckwith, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, missed all of last year as well after suffering a fractured ankle in an offseason car accident. The original hope was that he would make it back at some point during the 2018 season, but that didn’t happen. He returned to practice briefly last season, but wasn’t cleared to return to the field.

Since last fall, Beckwith’s status had been murky. His 2018 season was over in November, but no one was completely sure about the future one way or the other. There was some thought that the injury he suffered in the accident could turn out to be career-ending, but to this day, we still don’t have official word. But after he was placed on the NFI list Friday, his new head coach, Bruce Arians, had this to say:

“Again, you hate to see guys lose their career off the field and for Kendell, he was a bright prospect and just unfortunate. You have to move on. It’s really, for me, I was never really counting on him coming back. I was hoping, but that’s one of the reasons Devin [White’s] here.”

That sure makes it sound like Beckwith’s career is over. It’s horribly disappointing for both Beckwith and the Bucs. Seeing a guy lose his career in an accident like that is sad. In his lone NFL season, he showed a lot of promise. The former LSU standout finished with 73 tackles (60 solo), one sack, one forced fumble and two passes defended.

As Arians said, drafting Devin White at No. 5 overall this year was due in part to not having Beckwith out there. Had the accident not happened, who knows what this year’s draft would’ve looked like for Tampa Bay? Who even knows what the 2018 defense would’ve been like?

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Friday that Beckwith’s “career is in jeopardy.”

That doesn’t sound as concrete as what Arians said, but one would think Arians has more insight on it.

The whole situation is extremely unfortunate. Our prayers/thoughts/best wishes go out to Beckwith in what is surely a frustrating and disappointing time.