The Buccaneers, who signed CB Richard Sherman at the end of September to help compensate for mounting injuries in their defensive backfield, will now be without him, at least for a little while. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Sherman, who sustained a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s victory over the Eagles, will miss some time.
Sherman, 33, has yet to undergo an MRI, so the extent of the injury is not yet known. However, Rapoport says it’s not expected to be particularly serious, and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets that Sherman could even avoid short-term IR.
Still, it’s another blow for Tampa Bay’s depleted secondary. CBs Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting are currently on IR, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. missed the Philadelphia game with a concussion. Winfield might have cleared protocol and been able to suit up if the Bucs had played on Sunday instead of Thursday, so it sounds as if he, at least, will be able to participate in Tampa’s Week 7 contest on Oct. 24. At this time, head coach Bruce Arians said he is not anticipating an outside signing to bolster the depth chart, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com writes.
Sherman, whose extended stay on the free-agent market this offseason was prolonged by a bizarre arrest that could eventually lead to league discipline, had not played or practiced in the 288 days leading up to his signing with Tampa (h/t Laine). However, considering the Buccaneers' desperate need for bodies and because he picked up the defense more quickly than expected, Sherman was thrust into the starting lineup just four days after joining the Bucs and played in all but one defensive snap of Tampa Bay’s win over New England in Week 4.
He had a similar workload in Week 5, and he later conceded that he was not in full football shape. In a tweet this morning, he said, “Disappointed. Going to bounce back soon. Asked a lot from my body in a short amount of time. Will be back better.”
In his two-plus games as a Buccaneer, Sherman has not held up particularly well in coverage. When Sherman returns, Tampa hopes it will be able to deploy the three-time First Team All-Pro in more of a complementary role.