Sherman injury deals ‘hard hit’ to Bucs secondary

NFL

PHILADELPHIA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ secondary — already ravaged by injuries and missing three starters — was dealt another tough blow Thursday night, with cornerback Richard Sherman sustaining a hamstring injury early in the first quarter against the Eagles and officially out for the remainder of the game.

It happened on the seventh play of the Eagles’ first possession, when Jalen Hurts connected with Quez Watkins for a 23-yard reception. Sherman tried to race over to Watkins but pulled up.

It was Sherman’s third game in 12 days, after signing with the Buccaneers on Sept. 29 after not playing or practicing in 288 days. He played all but one snap in his first game at the New England Patriots, but admittedly said he wasn’t in full football shape.

He was replaced by Dee Delaney.

The Bucs lost starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who also serves as their nickelback, in Week 1 to an elbow dislocation. Then in Week 3, they lost No. 3 cornerback Jamel Dean (who has since returned) to a knee injury. In Week 4, they lost top cornerback Carlton Davis to a quad injury. Then with two drives left against the Patriots in Week 4, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. sustained a concussion. Both Murphy-Bunting and Davis are on injured reserve with no timetable for a return.

Counting tonight, Bucs defensive backs have missed a combined 11 games this season. Sherman’s signing was supposed to give them relief. To make matters worse, the Bucs are playing against the Eagles without inside linebacker Lavonte David, their best linebacker in coverage.

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