Spence suffered the shoulder injury during the
Spence injured his shoulder during Sunday's 17-16 victory over the Panthers, ESPN reports.
The severity of Spence's injury isn't clear. However, considering he wasn't immediately ruled out of the game upon going down, the issue likely isn't serious. Regardless, he'll have plenty of time to recover in the offseason.
The second-round pick with first-round pedigree has blossomed as the season has unfolded, playing a key part in the Bucs defense's resurgence over the past month. Spence garnered NFL Rookie of the Week following a 1.5-sack performance against the Seahawks on Nov. 27, an effort that also helped propel him to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for November. Entering the Week 14 matchup with the Saints, Spence had been tied with Chargers top pick Joey Bosa for most sacks among rookie defensive ends with 5.5, while his three forced fumbles tied him for second in the league among rookies. With the pass rush playing such an integral part in the team's recent defensive improvement, Spence's impact on the unit has undeniably been a significant one.
Look for more updates to come once the practice reports are released this week, as the severity of the sprain remains relatively unknown. Should he miss time, Nate Palmer could see extended reps on the defensive front.
The emerging pass rusher tallied 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles over the course of the month, which helped propel the Bucs to a 3-1 record over that span. Particularly notable is the fact that Spence garnered his accomplishments while nursing a shoulder injury originally suffered in Week 4, which has required that he modify the use of his arms when engaging with offensive lineman. Although he's technically still being deployed a rotational player, Spence has encouragingly seen his snaps rise after each of the last three games, topping out at 51 against the Seahawks this past Sunday.
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||22||16.0||6||5.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|