The Pro Bowl was full of fun and games, but one unfortunate moment occurred in the fourth quarter when Tyler Eifert attempted to haul in a deep pass from Jameis Winston. As he went to the ground, the ball popped out and he got up gingerly, holding his left leg. Eifert was seen soon after being tended to by trainers on the sideline. The update of his injury on the scene given on the television broadcast was that Eifert came down hard on his ankle and needed to get it wrapped, but the true extent of the injury wasn’t known.
Hopefully, the injury isn't serious, but we'll keep an eye on Eifert's status over the next few weeks.
Buccaneers and OC Dirk Koetter now closing in on deal to make him Tampa's HC, per league source. Done shortly.
Koetter's Bucs were 5th in yards but only 20th in points scored in 2015. Still, the yardage is encouraging, and it's good for Jameis Winston that he'll remain in the same offense in Year Two.
Friday, January 8, 2016, 6:38pm
Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6:15pm
Buccaneers have informed DC Leslie Frazier his option will not be picked up for 2016.
Although the Bucs defense gave up the 23rd-most yards, it yielded the 7th-most points in the league.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that Head Coach Lovie Smith has been relieved of his duties.
Statement from Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer:
“After careful consideration, we informed Lovie that we have decided to make a change. I want to thank Lovie for his hard work and dedication to the Buccaneers during his time here. This decision was difficult on a variety of levels. I am disappointed that we were not more successful these past few seasons, but we are committed to doing what is necessary to give our fans the winning team they deserve. As we move forward, General Manager Jason Licht will oversee the process for finding our next head coach.”
Smith was 8-24 in two seasons with the Bucs, but the team was competitive (6-10) in his second season. The departure of his run-first mentality may end up hurting Doug Martin if he re-signs with Tampa Bay, though if the Bucs promote OC DIrk Koetter, the offense probably won't change too much.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 6:16pm
Sunday, January 3, 2016, 3:23pm
Martin sits No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,354 on 273 carries. With a big game Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers, Martin could leap Adrian Peterson to become the first Bucs player ever to lead the league in rushing. Sims is an underrated dual-threat back, compiling 1,001 yards from scrimmage (514 rushing, 487 receiving).
Martin, 26, is set to become a free agent this offseason, but the sides are already working on keeping the back in a Bucs jersey.
"We've already talked a little bit,'' general manager Jason Licht said, via the Tampa Tribune. "We will definitely be talking (more). We'd love to have Doug back.''
Last offseason, it looked like the Bucs might dump an ineffective Martin, but the 5-foot-9 pinballing runner bounced back in a big way, the story said. Martin has carried Tampa's offense for long stretches this season, taking some pressure off rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. This season was kind of an audition for Martin, who had struggled the past two seasons. But, Martin was getting positive reviews all the way back in the offseason.
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 6:13pm
Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 9:16pm
The 17th overall selection in the 2009 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Freeman has played in 61 career games, including 60 starts. He spent training camp with the Miami Dolphins this season before being waived at the end of the preseason. Most recently, Freeman played with Fall Experimental Football League's Brooklyn Bolts.
The Panthers missed Jonathan Stewart in their first loss of the season on Sunday in Atlanta. They could have their top running back on the field when they try to lock up the NFC's top seed in Week 17.
ESPN's Ed Werder reported Tuesday that the Panthers are "hopeful" Stewart will return to the lineup next Sunday against the 6-9 Buccaneers. Stewart -- who has missed the past two weeks with a foot injury -- ran on a treadmill and could practice on Wednesday, according to a source.
In a perfect world, the Panthers would rest Stewart's foot until the divisional playoffs. But Week 17 still has meaning for the Panthers, who would fall to the NFC's No. 2 seed if they were upset by Tampa Bay on Sunday and the Cardinals topped the Seahawks at home.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Panthers reserve running back Fozzy Whittaker suffered a “mild high-ankle sprain” yesterday in Atlanta and won’t play in the regular season finale against the Buccaneers.
Whittaker was carted off yesterday, but the Panthers have already secured a bye week, so he’ll have some time to get well.
The Panthers appeared to be hoping to give Stewart the rest of the regular season off to have him 100 percent for the playoffs, after he suffered a foot injury two weeks ago against the Falcons. Coach Ron Rivera said that day he thought Stewart could have returned to the game if they weren’t so far ahead, but now it looks like they want to park him until the divisional round.
That would leave the Panthers with fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne and undrafted Brandon Wegher behind fullback Mike Tolbert in the backfield for Week 17, the story said. It also added that with those two in the backfield, pass-protection is something to worry about when the main goal is to keep quarterback Cam Newton upright and healthy.
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