Russell Gage Struggles To Shake Hamstring Injury

August 1st, 2023

Back at practice.

Receiver Russell Gage was standing on the back patio of One Buc Palace under the cover of shade, looking out at the practice fields of One Buc Palace after practice Monday.

There, players and Bucs officials meandered all over. Some players worked on the JUGS machine. Some stayed on the main practice field to run extra plays. Some slapped skin with fans, signed autographs, posed for selfies. Others had already disappeared into the complex.

Gage just stood and stared and shook his head.

“I’ve never really been hurt,” Gage said softly. “I’ve never been like that before.”

When Gage was in Atlanta, he missed four games in four years due to injury. Coming to the Bucs last offseason, Gage blew out a hamstring in OTAs and he told Joe yesterday he still hasn’t recovered from that injury.

“Last year I really played the whole season hurt,” Gage told Joe. “I’ve never really been hurt.”

Gage classified his injury as “lower body” but admitted the same injury he suffered in OTAs when he first came to the Bucs. It has carried over to this year. The hamstring from hell.

Gage told Joe that this offseason he met with Bucs coaches and trainers and they told him to go about things slow and he should only come back when he feels right. Not to push things.

The most important thing for Gage, Bucs officials told him, is availability for the regular season. If he has to sit out all of training camp to make sure he’s good to go for the regular season, then he should do that.

This week, for the first time in the NFL league year, Gage has been practicing.

“I’m feeling good now, though,” Gage said.

A big reason he returned to practice is Gage said he needed the reps in the new offense otherwise even if healthy, he may never see the field come September.

“It’s crucial that I get reps in,” Gage said. “At the same time, people always say your best ability is your availability. So we have to make sure I’m good and healthy.

“I never really dealt with injuries.”

If there is a silver lining to all of this, Gage said he learned the lesson of taking care of himself.

“Sometimes you have to go through things to learn,” Gage said. “In my case, learn how to take care of your body.”

As for the new Bucs offense under Dave Canales, Gage is stoked. He admitted that’s another reason he resumed practice. He wanted to learn an offense he believes can be fun.

“That’s why I am out here now,” Gage said. “To build chemistry with my quarterbacks. Get really comfortable and settle in with the offense. I love it. I really do love this offense.

“I’ve been sitting in meetings and the film room. I am really looking into what Dave has. It’s outstanding. I love it. I think it’s going to be really good for us.”

The offense would be so much better if Gage can be on the field at 100 percent. Time will tell if that can happen.

24 Responses to “Russell Gage Struggles To Shake Hamstring Injury”

  1. Austin Says:

    NFL is messed up with this dude making as much as Saquon Barkley. Get out on the field and play

  2. Austin Says:

    Making 10 million dollars and can’t fix a hammy after a year, get TF out on the field and play

  3. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Hopefully he balances it right getting the reps while getting the hamstring strong. Hamstrings are wicked. I’m no professional athlete but I’ve tweaked mine a few times. Ever get hamstring pulls? It feels like someone has beaten you across the back of the thighs. You feel like maybe you need a massage to help relieve the soreness, but as soon as someone touches you the pain is so sudden and intense you jump a foot off the table.

    No way that’s happening.

    Depends on how bad it is, but maybe a week later you can get some massage therapy to help get it calmed down. Still then you are suffering through it.

    Then you stretch and that hurts like a MFer too.

    Eventually you make it to the strength building PT. You can’t rush through that last thing you want is for it to tear again. You still feel the twinge reminders. Ever feel like you have muscle knots in the back of your legs? Crazy. You never expect that to be something you’d experience. PT stretching and massage until you work your way back. It takes a while.

    It’s no fun at all.

  4. captivajim Says:

    damaged goods ..IF it is same hammy issue as last yr after being off for 7 months –he will not be worth the roster spot

  5. Rod Munch Says:

    He was literally bought in because of the Bucs terrible luck with receivers getting injured, and being a smaller guy, with no real injury history, going from turf to grass, you’d figure he’d be a safe bet.

    I’d let him go really slow and just hope he can be healthy for week 1, then stay healthy. I wouldn’t write him off yet, but it’s not looking good.

  6. b4l Says:

    Soft. Time to move on from this guy. It’s a shame they got rid of a real contributor in Tyler Johnson and keeping the one-trick pony Scooter Miller, whom they did not even use as a deep threat option (which he was great at) and tried to turn him into a slot WR bc Godwin kept getting injured. Really strange the way the Head Coach has been managing the WRs.

  7. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Man, I honestly feel bad for this dude. It’s obvious that he’s not malingering. I wonder if maybe he should have had the muscle surgically repaired in the off-season. I can’t imagine a muscle tear not healing after a whole off-season unless it required surgery to close up. Or maybe there’s a muscle to tendon connection that is bad and not showing on the images.

    Get well, Russell.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    b4I … ‘Really strange the way the Head Coach has been managing the WRs.’

    I’m not even sure what that means. I can’t remember any games last season in which Bowles was telling SpongeBob to put in this WR or that WR, and use them in this way or that way. Miller was quite ineffective during most of his Bucs’ tenure (4 TDs in 4 years, with 3 of those coming in 2020). And yes, he was a 1-trick pony (who was useless last season as a deep threat because Brady didn’t have much time to throw deep?).

    I thought Chris Godwin stayed fairly healthy last year (15 games with over 100 catches & over 1,000 yards) & I thought he played all over the field, not just slot. I don’t know why they released Tyler Johnson (I actually liked him), but he only got into TWO games for Houston last season with 0 targets (apparently they didn’t see much in him either).

    The bigger questions dealing with last season’s WRs should be directed to Jason Licht, not Todd Bowles. Why did we pay an oft-injured Julio Jones $6 mil ? (He contributed little … 2 TDs & less than 300 yds). Why did we keep Breshad Perriman? (He contributed even less … 1 TD & barely 100 yds). Or Jaelon Darden (0 TDs & 26 yds)?

    Russell Gage on the other hand was more effective than all 3 of those WRs together. Despite his hammy problem, he gave us 13 games & 5 TDs, 2nd-most on the team behind Mike Evans’ 6 TDs. If he can get & stay healthy, he’ll be well-worth $10 mil a year in Canales’ offense.

  9. Esteban85 Says:

    We need this guy to show up this year. We all saw how important it was for Brady to have 3 legit options. I’m not gonna bash on a guy for getting injured in this most physical of any sport and you gotta give him props for playing injured. As we see with DR’s article, he was decently effective.

  10. Esteban85 Says:

    Joes are killing it with the coverage

  11. A Bucs Fan Says:

    So what I’m reading is he should have been on IR last season period. If hamstrings don’t completely heal before getting back out there you are pretty much guaranteed to re-injure it. I hope he really heals up. I’d rather him miss the first month of the season and truly heal than have another frustrating year like last year. Not to mention constantly pushing so hard on a blown hammy for so long could rob him of his explosiveness/ quickness for good if he’s not careful about it. Get well Russell then ball out.

  12. garro Says:

    I have never heard of a hamstring taking a year to recover from. Yes i know they can linger and it is easy to retweek them.
    Maybe he should not have played hurt last year. I do commend him for sticking it out but hindsight being 20/20 maybe we should have shut him down last season.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Hodad Says:

    The way his contract is structured he ain’t going no where this year.

  14. NJbucs23 Says:

    This guy should be doing yoga everyday.

  15. HFXBUC Says:

    We need Gage otherwise the WR room is really gonna hurt the offence. He’s the only legit #3 receiver they have. When journeyman Dave Moore and his band of OFAs are getting as much run as they are you’ve got depth issues.

    And don’t even get me started on the TEs where practice squad journeyman Dave Wells looks like the second best TE!

    OFA’s and tier 2 JAGS are too prominent on this team.

  16. BucU Says:

    He’s useless to this team. Cut his ass.

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    Doesn’t really say how far along he is. Is he 90% 50% or still in a lot of pain? He could be a huge part of the offense if he could get back to full health.

  18. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Soft as baby shizz

  19. LOL Says:

    Still hurt from last year? WHAT THE F&^$ happened over the off season?!??!?!?

  20. Joe Says:

    Joes are killing it with the coverage

    Thank you for the kind words.

  21. Dooley Says:

    “Still hurt from last year? WHAT THE F&^$ happened over the off season?!??!?!?”

    It’s probably tendonitis, which is worse than a strain because the inflammation travels instead of subsiding. Hope Gage can muscle through it bet it’s safe to say he’ll be having quite the pre-game regiment with the team doctors.

  22. BucU Says:

    Gage I blame YOU for still not being able to play.
    WTF did he do all off-season? I hope they dump his ass. He turned into a bum.

  23. Fred McNeil Says:

    If it hasn’t healed after a year it probably never will.

  24. ScottyMack Says:

    People keep throwing out the $10 million figure but didn’t he agree to a lower $7 million this year (with incentive bonuses that could get him up to $10 million)?

    Unlike many others here, I’m pulling for Gage and saw last year how great a receiver he can be when healthy. If he does put it together $7-10 mil will be an absolute bargain for a receiver with his ability.

    If he’s still injured, why not put Devin Thompkins in the slot? Canales seems to love him and he’s having a really good camp thus far. Short and really fast, he seems like the perfect person to slide into the slot with Godwin supposedly being used more as as the Y receiver this year.