Injuries Will Likely Determine Bucs’ 2021 Season

November 13th, 2021

Staying healthy.

One of the most overlooked elements to a championship team is health. Teams avoiding the injury bug are usually the teams making noise in the playoffs.

Last year was a perfect example. The Bucs really only had two major injuries in the regular season, O.J. Howard and Vita Vea, who was able to rejoin the team in the nick of time for both the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl.

This year, the Bucs have been riddled with injuries starting in the very first game. Jenna Laine of ESPN notes how quickly the Bucs can get those guys back and whether they can stay healthy will be a huge factor in repeating as champs.

Laine mentioned the projected recoveries of Sean Murphy-Bunting, Scotty Miller, Richard Sherman, furniture-tossing, bicycle-riding receiver Antonio Brown and foot-rubbing, car-littering tight end Rob Gronkowski. But she omitted Carlton Davis and Jason Pierre-Paul, who is going through what he said is his worst football injury trying to play a torn rotator cuff. That’s huge.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has done a really nice job repairing a defense with bubble gum and duct tape with all the cornerback injuries. Can he continue to get by with so little?

The key in Joe’s mind is both Brown and Gronkowski. This offense is very different without them. It seems sluggish at times when they’re not on the field.

Joe is starting to think getting Brown and Gronk back may be more important than Murphy-Bunting and Davis returning.

With Brown and Gronk healthy, this Bucs offense can simply outscore anyone.

22 Responses to “Injuries Will Likely Determine Bucs’ 2021 Season”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    I think you are right about the importance of Brown and Gronk.

  2. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Agreed 100%!

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    Commentators across the country were saying before the season started “No way Bucs can stay healthy like last season”. And boy were they right. Antonio Wingfield Jr jinxed us by hurting SMB & himself. It’s been a downward spiral from there. The taunting rule was installed because of Wingfield Jr & Devin White and they cost us the Saints game because of a rule that they’re responsible for.

  4. Kentucky Buc Says:

    The injury bug seems cyclical at times. The Bucs getting theirs early might turn out to be a good thing. Remains to be seen. Noticed that some teams are starting to get bit the last week or two.

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:

    No doubt we’re better with Gronk and AB, I mean, what team wouldn’t be?
    ……but we still have a lot of talent and this is where a very good OC adjusts to his available player’s strengths and crafts a winning game plan.

    Leftwich could earn a lot of respect from his doubters (not haters) by doing that.

    Let’s see what ya got Lefty.

  6. James Allen Lofton Says:

    Gronk and AB should be back in 3 weeks along with Bunting, Davis. They are all difference makers which means a strong run at the Super bowl in LA.

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    I think Gronk and/or Brown….we get one of those back, the advantage becomes to much in our favor. Perriman was a great pick up to fill the #3 spot. He’s not elite like Brown but in that role he can be very effective for us.

    As for JPP….he’s a warrior but the shoulder issue as a pass rusher is going to allow teams to focus on Shaq. We’re going to need Suh or White, maybe Tryon to come through with some plays in 1 on 1 situations. The JPP injury really changes the dynamics of our defense.

  8. ocala Says:

    She is correct on this, but she is not good regarding her questions in press conferences.

    Typical questions she poses:

    What’s it like to practice in this heat?

    What’s it like being 44 years old and still playing?

    What’s it like playing with Tom?

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Having both Godwin & Evans healthy is key…..don’t like what I’m hearing about Godwin’s foot…..we can withstand Gronk & AB only if we have our top two receivers.
    I agree that a complete offense is more important to this team than a defense.

    I look forward to more Tyler Johnson this week.

  10. Aceofaerospace Says:

    As much as I want to win out, I hope we sit Gronk and AB until as close to 100% as possible. Even if it means losing a game or two now. We need them healthy in the playoffs. Yes, we’re going to the playoffs.

  11. PassingThru Says:

    If there is such a thing as a silver lining from early to midseason injuries, it’s that the returning players tend to have fresher legs. The only caveat is that you have to hope that they don’t rush themselves back into service too early.

  12. adam from ny Says:

    for some reason i don’t think the rest of the league factors in how injured we are…as well as the countrywide media and talk shows…

    they talk bucs, bucs, bucs…

    but never say injury riddled and hangin’ by a thread…

    if we were gently banged up like a box of dropped godiva chocolates, wouldn’t we be the best team in the league?

    i’d say so…

    and if meat wasn’t falling off the bone on gronk’s baby back ribs, would we be watching him on outback steakhouse commercials?…

  13. Bird Says:

    I would say AB and Gronk but would add Carlton davis too

    Good thing is we have redskins and then giants. Glad to be at the giants gAme
    Hope we can get all those guys back after next two weeks.

  14. Beeej Says:

    thankfully we have a bunch of 2nd tier opponents coming up

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I of course would like home field advantage but last year we proved it wasn’t essential.

    I think to win we need…

    1.) Luck. It’s always better to be lucky than good. And luck begins with the topic of this thread INJURIES.

    2.) Timing If we must have injuries at least they are occuring at the right time.
    It’s a chance to force some younger players into larger roles and it seems as if in most cases it’s not hard to imagine all these guys regaining their health just in time for the playoffs.

    To borrow from one of Joe’s favorite groups Van Halen…”Right now is your tomorrow…right now it’s everything.”

    Right Now we are 6-2 and in first place. We need to get healthy but there is time.

  16. PassingThru Says:

    Injuries dictate the course of any team…

    Breaking news: The Rams WR2 Robert Woods tore his ACL.

  17. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Several 2nd tier teams beat 1st tier teams recently.

    That line of thinking is severely flawed.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … ‘With Brown and Gronk healthy, this Bucs offense can simply outscore anyone.’

    Love the word ‘simply’ in there. As in ‘cakewalk’ or ‘a win is assured’? Looking back to last season, Gronk & AB both played in the Rams & Chiefs losses in which we scored 24 pts in each game … ALMOST enough to win IF our opponents hadn’t scored 27 pts. There are no ‘cakewalks’ in the NFL; any team can beat any other team on a given Sunday IMO.

    The beauty of NFL football is that it’s the ultimate TEAM sport. Had our offense scored 28 pts in last year’s Rams & Chiefs losses, we would’ve had 2 more wins. If our defense had limited both teams to 23 pts, that also would’ve led to 2 more wins. BOTH sides of the ball play a role in each & every win & loss, as well as our S/Ts of course. COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL wins out in the final analysis.

  19. Joe Says:

    COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL wins out in the final analysis.

    “Complimentary football” means you have a softarse team with no strength. Empty football cliche.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … ‘“Complimentary football” means you have a softarse team with no strength. Empty football cliche.’

    Fascinating perspective Joe. Can’t help but wonder if Ira agrees with that viewpoint. Also wonder if TB12 would. The GOAT has led some awesome offenses (including last year) to SB wins. Pats offenses during those years ranked #6, 12, 4, 4, 3, 4, 3 (for an average of a tad more than 5).

    Yet during those SB championships, his defenses ranked #6, 1, 2, 8, 1, 7, 8 (for an average of a tad less than 5).

    Looks like a relatively decent BALANCE between offense & defense, with the capability to play COMPLEMENTARY (ie, combining in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other) FOOTBALL, might be a characteristic of winning TEAMS, in this century at least.

  21. Lamarcus Says:

    Oh come on. Every team gets injured. Derrick Henry and Kyler got hurt but somehow they still stomped their opponents. Even Cowboys won with some guy named Cooper Rush. This makes this coaching staff overrated if injuries makes us lose

  22. unbelievable Says:

    I mean… duh.