The Buccaneers will have to finish their final two games against the Packers and Saints without their dominant Pro Bowl defensive tackle.
On Monday head coach Lovie Smith confirmed what many believed – and at this point hoped for – that Gerald McCoy would be placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.
This marks the third time in his five year career that his season has been cut short by injury. But unlike the torn biceps suffered near the midway point of 2010 and 2011, this decision to place him on IR comes more as a precautionary move.
“Well you know how Gerald took the news, of course he didn’t go off on a cart yesterday,” Smith said of McCoy wanting to stay in. “When you’re the leader of the team, you want to be there right up until the end. It wasn’t the decision Gerald was going to make, he wanted to continue to play, but it’s something bigger than that.
First off, he has an injury and he can’t play. We’ll take every precaution with him. Of course going through a year like this you want to finish it with the troops, but he’ll have a chance to get started next time.”
For McCoy, he said even with a bad injury it’s hard get him off the field, but he understands the medical staff’s decision.
“I don’t know if anybody seen me but I was kind of upset,” McCoy said. “You know, we have a great medical staff here and all the coaches are very smart coaches and I think they made the best decision to hold me out. I had Clint come over, Vincent Jackson, Lavonte comes over and says ‘sit down.’ You have to shoot me. You have to kill me to keep me down. But I think it’s the best decision.”
At 2-12 the 2014 season is long over. And while McCoy admitted that under different circumstances he might’ve finished the remaining games, this is about the bigger picture.
The two-time Pro Bowler is optimistic about his team’s future. So for the Buccaneers, the smart and safe option is to protect the face of the franchise, as they focus on a drastic turnaround for next year.
“Of course you want to finish the game with your guys but you have to look at the bigger picture and that’s my overall health,” McCoy said. “The reality is, we’re not going to the playoffs, we fought hard but things didn’t go the way we wanted so we just have to look at the bigger picture and more long-term.”
“I love the game so much, my teammates, the organization. As long as I’m able to go I’m going. But I believe this is the best decision because it’s more long-term. We have a lot of great, not good, but great ahead of us with this team and this organization and a big part that will be my health. I need to be healthy if we’re going to be successful.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a week late, should have shut him down last week along with LD. These last two games should be treated like preseason and pro bowl games and try not to get hurt.
Love McCoy’s attitude. Need more like him on this team. Here’s your chance Bowers.
I agree with others that I love his attitude but I’m glad he’s been shut down for the year. However, I’m very surprised no one said what the injury actually was. Was it MCL or the knee cap or something else? Just tell me it wasn’t his ACL so I can rest easy this offseason!
hyper-extended knee. Kinda like my patience this season.
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