Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans received a scare during Thursday night’s 20-14 win against the Carolina Panthers, but they can breathe a sigh of relief.
No. 5 overall pick Devin White did not return to the game after suffering a MCL during the opening drive, but head coach Bruce Arians said he is only expected to miss one to two weeks.
“Devin I don't think it's that serious,” Bruce Arians said after the game, via NFL.com. "We didn't want to take a chance on him.”
White picked up two tackles in the first six plays, but he went down to the ground just five minutes into the game after stopping Christian McCaffrey for a six-yard gain. He was able to walk off the field under his own power after the training staff checked him out, but the team didn’t want to take any chances.
Shortly after that, the game was put into a weather delay because of lightning. White briefly returned to the sidelines during warmups when the teams came back to the field, but he spent the rest of the game in the locker room.
More bad injury luck for White
The Bucs may have avoided the worst with their prized middle linebacker — Arians didn’t even rule him out against the New York Giants in 9 days — but it continues a trend of tough sledding for the start of White’s NFL career.
White played his first regular season game with tonsillitis, which is especially tough considering his role involves barking out play calls. And the details from ESPN’s Jenna Laine are brutal: It hurt so much to swallow that he lost 10 pounds from a lack of food and couldn't sleep at night. He needed five IV bags to keep him hydrated in the brutal Florida summer.
If nothing else, the Buccaneers can be sure that their franchise cornerstone is as tough as they come, but here’s hoping his list of plagues doesn’t continue into the third, fourth, fifth games and beyond.
Buccaneers were fine without White
Although the Buccaneers would be lost without White long-term, they had just enough left in the tank to beat the Panthers without him.
Tampa Bay held Carolina without a touchdown and stifled them to just 2.1 yards per carry. Cam Newton did not look like his normal self, but the Bucs deserve credit for keeping him under 50 percent passing.
The game eventually boiled down to a goal-line stand at 4th and 1 from the Tampa Bay 2. The Panthers opted for a direct snap to McCaffrey, who ran to the far left side and was stuffed by Vernon Hargreaves III just inches shy of the first down marker.
Beyond Hargreaves' big stop, Kevin Minter also stepped up in White's stead. The fellow former LSU Tigers standout finished second on the team with 8 tackles and added a quarterback hit.
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