Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stadium: Raymond James Stadium | Coach: Dirk Koetter
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense18th101.0 (24th)245.4 (16th)
Defense23rd117.2 (22nd)250.8 (22nd)
Injuries
DatePosPlayerInjuryNFL StatusFantasy News
03/07/17DLHoward JonesKnee - ACLQUESTIONABLEJones (knee) will not have his contract tendered by the Buccaneers, making him an unrestricted free agent, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Jones now can test the market but may have trouble finding work as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. Before the injury, the defensive end split time on special teams and defense, recording three tackles in eight games.

(Updated 03/08/2017)
01/26/17LBDevante BondHamstringQUESTIONABLEBond (hamstring) could have a chance to start at strong side linebacker, Roy Cummings of WFLA.com reports.

A 2016 sixth-round selection, Bond missed his entire rookie year with a hamstring injury while Daryl Smith (free agent) served as Tampa's starter on the strong side. Smith only logged 476 defensive snaps despite playing all 16 games, with Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander serving as the three-down linebackers. Unless David and/or Alexander suffers an injury, there won't be room for another IDP contributor in the Tampa linebacking corps. Bond also figures to face competition for a role which isn't all that important in today's NFL. His hamstring should be fully healed by training camp, if it isn't already.

(Updated 04/12/2017)
01/26/17WRDonteea DyeAnkleQUESTIONABLEDye (ankle) underwent surgery on his injured ankle Monday, ESPN reports.

After injuring his ankle in practice, Dye was placed on injured reserve in mid-December. While his procedure Monday required screws to re-set a ligament in his ankle and will sideline the receiver for about six weeks, Dye should be ready in time for summer OTAs.

(Updated 01/02/2017)
01/26/17WRVincent JacksonKneeQUESTIONABLEJackson (knee) does not plan on retiring, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.

Jackson is slated to hit free agency after ending both of the last two seasons on injured reserve due to knee issues. Despite being 34 years old, Jackson still feels there's room left in the tank to continue his career. Just how much interest he receives in free agency remains to be seen, leaving his diminished fantasy stock in limbo, but the veteran isn't calling it quits yet.

(Updated 03/03/2017)
01/26/17DLGeorge JohnsonHipQUESTIONABLEJohnson has been placed on IR after injuring his hip in Thursday's practice.

Johnson played in 11 games for Tampa Bay last year, recording 23 tackles in two forced fumbles while seeing the field for 39.4 percent of the teams defensive snaps. It's unclear what exactly his hip injury is at this point, but it was enough for the team to officially end his season just a day after the injury. With him out, look for Cliff Matthews and Jacquies Smith to see some extra reps with the second unit.

(Updated 08/05/2016)
01/26/17WRCecil ShortsKneeDOUBTFULShorts (knee) faces an 18-to-24 month recovery and might not return to the NFL, Joe Scalzo of the Columbus Monthly reports.

Shorts suffered a devastating right knee injury in early December that included a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL, not to mention a dislocated kneecap. The short end of his recovery timeline would put him on schedule to be ready for training camp ahead of the 2018 campaign while the latter end would rule him out for that season entirely. Either way, in order to play again, the diminutive receiver will not only have to recover in full but also regain the necessary burst to separate from opposing defenders. A return from a catastrophe like this would be a gruesome task for any player, but for a 29-year-old veteran whose already shown signs of decline, it seems nearly impossible.

(Updated 03/13/2017)
01/26/17RBCharles SimsPectoralQUESTIONABLESims (pectoral) will return as a key component of the Tampa Bay backfield, while teammate Doug Martin (suspension) faces a more uncertain future, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Martin's suspension cost him $7 million in guarantees, making it more palatable for the Buccaneers to simply release him in the wake of an ineffective season that was plagued by both injuries and the suspension. Even if he sticks around, Martin will miss the first three games, and then may have to re-prove himself to the team. Sims also saw his 2016 campaign marred by injuries, limiting him to 75 touches (24 catches) in only seven games. He landed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury prior to Week 17, but there's been nothing to suggest the ailment will be a factor for the upcoming season, which means Sims should be locked into his usual role as the passing-down back. He'll have the potential for a bit more than that -- especially if Martin is released or ineffective -- but the Bucs also have Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber in the mix for carries. Given Sims' injury history, Rodgers' middling track record and Barber's inexperience, the Bucs may also look to upgrade via the draft.

(Updated 03/15/2017)
01/26/17RBAntone SmithKneeQUESTIONABLESmith (knee) remains unsigned while rehabbing from a season-ending injury, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Smith had some success as an occasional big-play threat for the Falcons in 2013 and 2014, but a combination of injuries and age have sapped his explosiveness. Even if he returns to full health at some point this offseason, the 31-year-old may find it tough to catch on with a team that gives him a real shot to earn a roster spot. He had 10 carries for 47 yards and six catches for 77 yards in three games with Tampa Bay last season.

(Updated 03/19/2017)
01/26/17DLJacquies SmithKneeQUESTIONABLESmith (knee) did not sign an offer sheet prior to Friday's deadline for restricted free agents to do so, effectively meaning he'll remain with the Buccaneers this season.

Smith was tendered by Tampa Bay last month, and although he's yet to sign that offer, he's been participating in the team's offseason program this week after putting pen to paper on a workout addendum. Given that involvement, it's of no surprise that Smith won't be heading elsewhere ahead of the 2017 campaign. After suffering a torn ACL in Week 1 of last year, Smith remains in the process of returning to his best form, which saw him total 39 tackles in 13.5 sacks for the Bucs during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

(Updated 04/21/2017)
01/02/17DLNoah SpenceShoulderQUESTIONABLESpence is undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a fully-torn labrum Wednesday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

Spence suffered the shoulder injury during the Buccaneers' season finale against the Panthers, but not before recording three tackles. He'll have plenty of time to recover before training camp in July. Spence, a 2016 second-round pick, finished his rookie campaign with 22 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two passes defensed, and three forced fumbles in 16 games.

(Updated 01/11/2017)
12/29/16RBDoug MartinSuspensionSUSPENDMartin (suspension) joined the Bucs as expected for the start of offseason work Monday and made a positive impression on general manager Jason Licht, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. "He looks great right now; he looks as good as I've seen him since I've been here, from a physical standpoint," Licht said. "He was in very good spirits. We're excited to have him, excited to see how he does out here in OTAs."

Martin's physical and mental well-being has been the subject of considerable intrigue this offseason, although reports have consistently had him doing very well in all aspects after completing a rehabilitation program early in 2017. This is a particularly pivotal time of year for the former Pro Bowler's future with the Bucs, with Licht acknowledging that the early, pre-draft portion of OTAs is a golden opportunity for the running back to "assert his place with the team." That wording seems to at least partly imply that the team is giving serious consideration to investing a premium draft pick on a running back, and recent visits and workouts with the likes of Florida State's Dalvin Cook, Texas' D'Onta Foreman, and Oklahoma's Joe Mixon lend further credence to that theory. While the 10-day period preceding the draft naturally won't tell Tampa everything it needs to know about Martin's overall condition, the fact that he's arrived and looking as good as previously advertised is certainly a step in the right direction. Unwavering support expressed by team leaders Jameis Winston and Gerald McCoy on Monday also speaks volumes, and the reality is that the Bucs will likely take plenty of time to make a final decision on Martin's future, potentially even having him complete his suspension over the regular season's first three games before making a definitive call on his future.

(Updated 04/18/2017)
 

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