Buccaneers Receive Brutal Injury News About Defensive Playmaker

Antoine Winfield, Buccaneers
NFL Analysis Network

Things are spiraling downward for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have lost four out of their last five games, including inexcusable losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers the last two weeks. In those games, the offense managed to score only 21 points, including a meager three against the Panthers.

Half of the wins that the Steelers and Panthers have this season have come against the Buccaneers, who are struggling to find any consistency offensively. Luckily for them, their defense has remained up to the task, as opponents are scoring only 17.7 points per game, which is fifth in the league.

However, things are going to get a little tougher on defense. Tampa Bay looks like they will be playing short-handed on that side of the ball when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football.

On Monday, head coach Todd Bowles revealed that starting safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is likely going to miss the game after being diagnosed with a concussion following Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. Given the new rules that the league implemented when it comes to head injuries, it is going to be very difficult for anyone to play in the following game, let alone a Thursday Night Football contest four days later.

Winfield is an integral part of the team’s defense. Along with Devin White and Lavonte David, he had played every snap thus far this season before suffering the injury against Carolina. Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards were close to the same, as they have played in 99 percent of the team’s defensive snaps this season.

Winfield’s playmaking will be missed as he had 39 total tackles with five tackles for a loss, three sacks, a forced fumble, and one interception. Without Winfield in the lineup, Keanu Neal will see an increased role. He has seen his playing time uptick in the last four games and could take over the every down role that Winfield was playing. The Buccaneers could also deploy different packages with more linebackers, as they have depth in the first two levels of their defense.