Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is run over
For the second consecutive season, Gerald McCoy's season will end on injured reserve because of a torn biceps muscle.

Sunday was a day filled with optimism and relief for the defensive tackle, who returned after a two-game absence because of an ankle injury. But in the first quarter, McCoy suffered a torn biceps muscle.

McCoy, the third overall pick in 2010, suffered a torn biceps in his left arm last season; now he has a torn right biceps. "Hey, stuff like that happens, man," DT Brian Price said.

"I feel bad for him because he had the same injury last year, just on the other arm. My heart goes out to him because I know how hard it is being on (injured reserve). I just hope he gets better. We can't count our losses and be sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep pushing."

Having to play the majority of the game without its most important defensive lineman, the middle of the Bucs defense was exploited against the run. By game's end, the Bucs had given up 195 rushing yards.

Compounding the problem, backup DT Frank Okam didn't make the trip to New Orleans, remaining in Tampa because of a calf injury. That left the Bucs with just two other true defensive tackles: Price and Roy Miller.

Raheem Morris substituted ends Da'Quan Bowers and George Johnson periodically, but neither is suited to play on running downs against much bigger interior offensive linemen. "We had guys like Bowers and George come in, but they'd just come in for about one or two plays and then get back out there," Price said.

Still, the Bucs will have to face this reality. And it won't be easy. "It's unfortunate," CB Ronde Barber said. "You hate to see that happen, especially with a young player. We're a different team without him."

About the writer
Stephen F Holder has been writing additional Buccaneer features and daily blog reports on the team for several seasons now for The St.Petersburg Times.