Conte is expected to require six weeks to recover from a torn PCL in his knee, which he sustained during Monday's 30-27 loss to the Steelers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Schefter relays that Conte probably shouldn't have played in the contest, but the safety "gutted it out" for the team before bowing out after playing 11 snaps. The Buccaneers placed Conte on injured reserve Tuesday, which will keep him out of action for a minimum of eight weeks. Assuming Schefter's timeline is accurate, Conte should return to full health by the second half of the season and merit consideration for an activation from IR.
The roster move comes one day after Conte exited the first half of Monday's 30-27 loss to the Steelers with the knee injury. Adding insult to the injury, Conte was on the receiving end of a devastating stiff-arm from Pittsburgh tight end Vance McDonald, who sent the safety tumbling to the ground during his 75-yard catch-and-run for the game's first score. The loss of Conte, who had started the Buccaneers' first three games and accrued 14 tackles, leaves the team with only two healthy safeties in Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead, who should both be slated for heavy snaps in Week 4 against the Bears. Conte, meanwhile, will miss the next two months after landing on IR, though head coach Dirk Koetter said the 29-year-old could be one of the two players the Buccaneers activate in the second half of the season, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Conte has been ruled out for the remainder of Monday's game against the Steelers after sustaining a knee injury.
The severity of Conte's knee injury remains to be seen. With the options behind Conte somewhat limited, the Bucs may be inclined to go with Jordan Whitehead at free safety for the time being. If Conte is to be sidelined for an extended period of time, there's a chance the team will look to bring in an additional safety.
Conte (knee) was a full participant in practice Saturday but is questionable for Monday's game against the Steelers, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
Conte suffered a knee injury in the Week 2 win over the Eagles and was limited in practice early this week as a result. Although he is still questionable, his full participation in practice Saturday is a reassuring sign. Look for a final decision to be made just before kickoff Monday night. If he is ruled out, Justin Evans will likely see an increased defensive role.
As long as Conte remains sidelined, the Buccaneers' will remain without their starting free safety. Second-year player Justin Evans stands to receive an increased defensive role if Conte is unable to return. The severity of the veteran's injury remains undisclosed, so expect an update on Conte's status after the conclusion of Sunday's game.
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||79||59.0||20||0||2||-4||-2.0||-2||0||6|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||69||59.0||10||0||2||73||36.5||53||1||5|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||77||62.0||15||0||1||0||0.0||0||0||8|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||14||10.0||4||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||0||1||10||1||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|