Bucs Need ASJ

November 5th, 2015
Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is slowly becoming a roster liability for his inability to stay healthy.

Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is slowly becoming a roster liability

With Louis Murphy out for the year and Vincent Jackson maybe targeting December, the Bucs need all available hands on deck when it comes to the passing game.

This is the fringes of a wild card hunt.

One set of hands is talented tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

The problem is, ASJ has been in the hot tub a helluva lot more than he has been on the field of play in his short Bucs career. And that is a troubling pattern for a second-year guy.

Look, Joe likes ASJ. And Joe is convinced there isn’t a young player alive that wants to be hurt.

There are many examples of guys who made their second and/or third contracts but mailed it in as soon as the bonus check cleared. Does the name “Anthony Collins” ring a bell? But for a young player to throw in the towel, well, that’s just dumb. And Joe doesn’t think ASJ is dumb. Hardly.

However, ASJ has been a walking injury since he was drafted. Remember when he couldn’t participate fully in offseason workouts his rookie year because he was recovering from foot surgery? Then came a bad ankle sprain on opening day 2014, followed by lingering back and leg problems that short-circuited his rookie season.

Of the 23 Bucs regular season games since the Bucs drafted ASJ in the second round last year, he has played in but 11. Joe’s not a math guy ,but Joe can figure out that is less than half the games.

That is not good. And despite all the talk at One Buc Palace that ASJ feels good and is progressing, yesterday, he was limited in practice.

ASJ hasn’t played since Week Two at New Orleans.

For the Bucs to even sniff a chance at the playoffs, ASJ must get on the field, out of the tub and stay healthy. No matter how talented a guy is, and ASJ is very talented, if your injuries keep you off the field, then you become a liability because you are eating up a roster spot.

If a team can’t depend on you week after week, what’s the point?

Being able to suit up in less than half of your eligible games is not a good harbinger of success for a young player. Players don’t generally get hurt less as they age.

Joe sure hopes ASJ starts Sunday against the Giants, but the way the Bucs lead folks to believe injuries are healing up, only to have players watching games in street clothes, and given ASJ’s brittle history, Joe isn’t holding his breath.

26 Responses to “Bucs Need ASJ”

  1. mike10 Says:

    I’m not sure if you put it anywhere else Joe, but I read a quote of his elsewhere essentially saying ‘i owe it to my teammates to not come back unless i’m 100%.’

    I’m sorry but I’d like to know the % of players on the active Bucs roster who are playing less than 100%. More so, if he came into the league expecting to play 16 games a season without a single ailment I just think he should have played on the PGA tour. I’ve played organized sports and I loved being out there, and would even play with broken bones.

    I just don’t agree, kind of question his character here, and think someone like Jackson or even McCoy needs to sit him down and explain how you’re not helping your team by being in the hot tub.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    ASJ is talented and makes a difference when he is in. Some players are simply injury prone…..remember how Stocker had problems early on…..GMC……now they seem to be improved.
    We desperately need him in. I’ve been saying this for weeks.

  3. imathenone Says:

    I’ve always wondered about this type discussion.
    How is it a reflection of the future health of a player can be determined if ‘accidents’ on the field caused him injury?

    It seems like mostly bad luck to me.

    I suppose skill at avoiding injury could be at play.

  4. Ray Rice Says:

    As much as I think THE CHARMIN MAN doesn’t cut it I must admit THE MESSIAH and Savage Mike need him.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Mike10

    Playing with pain is one thing…..playing that might further the injury is another….so with ASJ, it depends on what 100% is…..

    We just had a post about Mariota’s injury…..he went back in the game and may have exacerbated his injury.

  6. Scratching My Head Says:

    Bucs need to cut their losses with ASJ. The man can’t stay healthy. You can’t make a difference if your not on the field so I don’t see how “we need him on the field” considering he’s not on the field long enough to know if he really is a difference maker. What we need is a guy who is going to fight to be on the field. ASJ is not that guy. You see some guys who work their butts off to rehab and get back on the field. Let’s draft a guy who wants to play.

  7. ChanEpic Says:

    Remember Buc fans, Doug Martin was hurt often too and now that he is healthy he is pretty close to our MVP. I’m all for being patient with ASJ but that patience will not extend to another lost season for the guy. If he doesn’t get on the field and stay on the field soon, we SHOULD be looking for his replacement next year.

  8. R.O Says:

    Man of tin… Soft and squishy. He just doesnt have what it takes.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Nick O’Leary is on the Bills practice squad. Just saying.

    Re: ASJ, I’m personally not ready to throw in the towel. But, if this continues into next season, then yes.

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    ASJ injury history goes back to his early College days. I am not questioning the mans heart but at some point you play with a little discomfort. I just don’t think the bucs can count him with all the limited practicing and hitting because of the wussifided new rules and cba roster spots are much more valuable than say 7 years ago. Taking flyers on players and being patient with injuries is different know than the past. practice time and rosters spots are far more valuable. I am not ready to give up on him just yet but let’s not count him as a weapon until he proves something other than he knows where the training room is.

  11. destro44 Says:

    Ok lets face it injuries happen. The question is what is the training staff and his coaches telling him. Different injuries require different treatment. Should he miss time for bruised ribs, probably not, but a back or knee he may need to be more cautious. My feeling is if the staff says he should be available but he doesn’t want to play we have a problem. I’m of the belief ME13 wanted top play well 1 but was shut down by the coaches or training staff. So maybe it isn’t him but rather the organization’s approach to injuries.

  12. IndyBucsfan Says:

    Is Kenny bell coming back this season?

  13. LargoBuc Says:

    This time of year, its hard to find any player at 100%. Im sure his shoulder hurts, but damnt man get out there! I mean was it a tear? Then I can see him missing time, but if he not playing just because its sore and its not torn, he needs to play

  14. Joe Says:

    Is Kenny bell coming back this season?

    Placed on IR before the regular season began.

  15. bucrightoff Says:

    He’ll start Sunday, make a few plays…and then get hurt and miss the rest of the season. He’s not quite made of glass but pretty close.

  16. celly Says:

    Like it or not, ASJ will get to play out his rookie contract before anything happens to him, so he’ll be here at least 2 more years.

    You don’t give up on a 2nd round pick in 2 years when you believe he has the ability.

  17. Jason McLaurin Says:

    He needs to line up exclusively at receiver when he returns because he doesn’t have the strength to play tight end and block yet but he can tun routes timely and catch the ball better than most on the team so he should lineup at receiver next to Evans. I really hope he plays this week because the Giants offense can slang and slug but I believe we have fully took on that identity as well on offense. If we start fast like we have the past few weeks we will win this game. I dont think JPP or Prince play again this week and Jennings or Williams aren’t the type of backs to get off on a heavy defensive line if we go with Melton starting now that McDonald is on IR. Spence should be eased back in rotation instead of forced like it seems they are doing. Gholston would be a fine backup across the line as well showing off his versatility will be wise this week. ###play4WINStonfihht4LOViE

  18. JollyBucsFan Says:

    GMC played 19 out of his first 32 games… not that far off from what we will see from ASJ by the time the season ends.

    Though regardless of that ASJ does need to get out of the tub and onto the field. if he cant stay healthy next year he is officially a bust

  19. JJBucFan Says:

    I agree with Love and WD, We should go get O’Leary, he was Jameis’ go to in short yardage. We made no moves whatsoever (which I can’t understand given the state of our DB’s), but we have 3 blocking TE’s and one pass catching TE that is made of china. Go get the pass catching guy that your QB is familiar with (unless Jameis is saying don’t get him), O’Leary would be cheap. Personally, I am ready to give up on ASJ, he is taking a roster spot every year and filling our heads with false hope. Vernon Davis for a 6th would have been a coup!

  20. cmurda Says:

    Who is this ASJ guy you speak of? I don’t recall seeing him on the field.

  21. Buccfan37 Says:

    The injury to ASJ seems sort of a secret. Worse than thought probably? A slow healer? He has been for the most part the highly touted vanishing ingredient to the Bucs passing game. Is he fully ready to give it all he has competing? Now would be the big time to step up and join the fight against the Giants. ASJ, the mystery man. Calling ASJ.

  22. Another J Says:

    Nick O’Leary is just wasting away on the Bills practice squad…
    I wonder if Jameis could use him?

  23. pelbuc Says:

    ASJ= Lazy, weak and unmotivated bust!

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    Time for ASJ to..MAN UP. This time of the season, no NFL player is 100%. I could be wrong. But he gives me the impression of being a ” Pretty Boy hot tub guy”. We got lotsa injured Buc players out there still giving there all. ASJ has been eligible to play 23 games for us. Thus far we’ve seen him in 10 or 11.
    You do the math. If he can’t play at 70 to 90% capacity for us? Put him on the trade wagon baby. That’s all I gots to say..bout that.

  25. godzilla13 Says:

    @tmaxcon Says – “ASJ injury history goes back to his early College days.” ASJ broke his pinky finger in 2012 and did not miss a single college game because of an injury. Before this year everyone was saying the same thing about Doug Martin. Look at him today. Same thing has been said about Henry Melton and Chris Conte? ASJ is a man of tin… weak, soft and squishy. Then people question his character? C’mon! He seriously injured his shoulder because he was over extended trying to catch an overthrown pass in the end zone. The guy is a legit monster TE in this league who has had a run of bad luck. He needs to be healthy so he does not return and go right back out.

  26. firethecannons Says:

    In Lovie’s words,”nobody is 100% but they are all good to go.” Yet ASJ is left languishing on the sideline. Huge waste of potential talent and money. It is not up to him if he is on the field, but I am sure he could get out there if he wanted too. Joe–please continue to address this matter as this needs attention.