Injuries are part of the game that every team must prepare for, and the injury has started to bite the Buccaneers as training camp goes along.
The Bucs had one significant injury from Saturday’s game with the Dolphins. Linebacker Cam Gill suffered a Lisfranc injury.
The severity of the injury is not yet known, but the three-year veteran was earning more reps at outside linebacker after being a part of special teams the last two seasons.
The Bucs will lose Gill for some time. Linebacker is the one position on the team that does not have a lot of depth. To replace Gill on the roster, the Bucs brought back a familiar face in linebacker Carl Nassib.
Nassib played with the Bucs in 2018 and 2019 before signing with the Las Vegas Raiders. Nassib was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 but had his best years with the Buccaneers.
He had a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2018 and followed that up with another six sack performance in 2019.
Nassib started 17/29 games in Tampa, with 63 tackles, 20 for loss, and three forced fumbles. However, his numbers with the Raiders were never as good as they were with the Bucs.
Nassib will add some depth at outside linebacker behind Shaq Barrett, Anthony Nelson, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
Todd Bowles said they brought Nassib back because of his knowledge of the system, camaraderie with the players, and ability to still play at a high level.
The Bucs also lost running back Kenjon Barner for the season with an undisclosed injury. Barner had 18 yards and seven carries in the preseason opener and was placed on IR.
The Bucs signed Patrick Laird to take the place of Barner on the roster. Laird has been with the Miami Dolphins the last three seasons bouncing from the practice squad to the active roster.
Laird has 76 carries for 244 yards and one touchdown in his career. He has also caught 36 passes for 289 yards.
Laird will get some work in the next two preseason games. Still, I can’t see him making this roster with Leonard Fournette, Ke’shawn Vaughan, Rachaad White, and Gio Bernard already having a roster spot solidified.
The Bucs also trimmed the roster this week to reach the 85-man limit. One name that jumped out at everyone was defensive back, Ross Cockrell. Cockrell played 29 games for the Bucs over the last two seasons with six starts.
With the signing of Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal this off-season, Cockrell was deemed expendable.
Todd Bowles said that Cockrell was cut now to give him a chance to sign on with another team versus waiting for the final roster cutdown date.
The Buccaneers also cut tight end Ben Beise, tackle Curtis Blackwell, wide receiver Kameron Brown, tackle Jonathan Hubbard, and outside linebacker JoJo Ozougwu.
The Buccaneers are in Nashville for joint practices with the Titans before playing the Titans in the second preseason game on Saturday.
Safety Keanu Neal suffered an undisclosed injury on Wednesday and will miss the rest of the preseason. However, the expectation is that Neal should be back and ready for the season opener in Dallas on September 11th.