Much to the dismay of many fans, star veteran inside linebacker Lavonte David underwent minor surgery on his knee. Head coach Bruce Arians says the surgery went well and he should be back for the regular season. So, that’s good news amongst the bad. More good news is that the Buccaneers seem to have found a replacement for Lavonte’s skill set while he’s out in fellow ILB/S hybrid Deone Bucannon.
While he’s not the same star-caliber player that David is, he’s a very suitable replacement and Bruce Arians seems content with it. Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com wrote that Bucannon has been running first-team plays next to rookie ILB Devin White. Bruce Arians has also talked about how thick the competition for linebacker is.
“We’ve got about four or five guys; it’s really great competition at the inside linebacker position. All those guys are position-flexible, but Deone has jumped in first.”
The NFL has always been the “next man up” league and injuries are unavoidable. But there’s a big difference in putting a player in because you need someone there and being confident in their ability to perform. Hopefully, David’s injury will allow him a return in week 1 against San Francisco, but if it doesn’t the Bucs can still be ready.