In the return of Tom Brady to Foxboro, all eyes will be on him as he takes on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. However, a huge story that seems to have been buried underneath the hype is the acquisition of Richard Sherman by the Buccaneers. There was some doubt that Sherman would see any action on Sunday night as he returned to football shape and learned the defensive scheme. That said, Sherman has reportedly picked up the defense rather quickly and with the absence of Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, Sherman will get the start against New England according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport;
New #Bucs CB Richard Sherman, who only signed on Wednesday, is expected to start tonight vs. the #Patriots, sources say. Sherman picked up the defense faster than expected, and with some injuries at CB, he's slated to step right in.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2021
Sherman hasn’t played a game since December 20 of last season as he was inactive for the final two games, but this is a bit of a surprise given what we heard from Sherman and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles during the week.
Sherman told the media it would be ridiculous to expect him to step in and play at a high level this weekend as he was still getting used to the defense while Bowles said they were still evaluating injuries at the time, but that Sherman may play some.
Sherman’s debut is an exciting bright spot for Bucs fans who are reeling from the injuries to Murphy-Bunting and Dean as well as not having Rob Gronkowski, Jason Pierre-Paul, or Giovanni Bernard available for the prime time game tonight.
It will be interesting to see how quickly Sherman returns to form or if he ends up being a liability in his first action in nearly ten months. With speedy receivers like Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers, the Bucs secondary will be tested early and often as they try to reign in a passing defense that has allowed a league high 338.3 passing yards per game through the first three weeks of the season.