N/S Bucs safety Jermaine Phillips out for the season (1 Viewer)

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Jermaine Phillips began the preseason as the starter at weakside linebacker, and he began the regular season as the starter at free safety. As it turns out, however, Phillips won't be playing at any position for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the rest of the 2009 campaign.

Phillips was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday as a result of the left thumb fracture he sustained in Sunday's Week Two game at Buffalo. The Buccaneers, who have been stung by a growing list of injuries in recent weeks, lose an extremely versatile performer who brought a hard-hitting and experienced influence to a defense filled with many young starters.

The Buccaneers also released safety Steve Cargile on Tuesday. Cargile, who was also briefly with the team during the preseason, re-signed on Saturday and played briefly in the Buffalo game.

The moves leave the Buccaneers with two open spots on the 53-man roster that were not immediately filled.

This marks the second year in a row and the third since 2004 that Phillips has finished on injured reserve, though in the previous cases his injuries occurred later in the season. Phillips missed the last three games of 2008 and five overall with a pair of forearm fractures and the end of the '04 campaign with a similar injury.

Phillips has been one of the Bucs' most productive players when healthy. He played in and started 55 games from 2005-08 and during that span contributed 415 tackles, nine interceptions, 26 passes defensed, two sacks and seven forced fumbles. He has started at both safety positions and, during the 2009 offseason, worked on what appeared to be a successful conversion to linebacker. The Buccaneers only moved Phillips back to safety when Tanard Jackson was handed a four-game suspension to start the season.

Phillips return to the safety position helped shore up the depth at that spot, but it is in question again after his unfortunate break. Will Allen and Sabby Piscitelli are currently the only remaining safeties on the roster.

Phillips is the seventh Buccaneer player to be moved to injured reserve already in 2009, including the second defensive back in the last four days. The team placed rookie cornerback E.J. Biggers on I.R. on Saturday due to a shoulder ailment.

Not good news for an already struggling secondary.
 

whodatdabeaux

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Even though I want to beat the Bucs (twice), we still need them to win games against the NFC East.
 
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Eeyore

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They looked horrible against the Bills this past weekend. I don't like to see players get hurt but I do like to see Tampa lose.
 

PurpleBlack&Gold

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Out for the season with a thumb injury? Ronnie Lot and Fred Thomas should fly to Tampa and slap Phillips in the face.
 

BoNcHiE

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We were sweeping them anyway.

Bucs fans can go ahead and offically write this season off.
 

Saint Brees

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The worst thing Tampa did was let go off Gruden. This franchise is in for some losing seasons. Horrible offense and now a bad defense.
 

Jackavelli

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i understand he broke thumb, but does anybody know exactly why bucs put a DB on IR for a broken thumb? why not just fit him for a cast?.. like tired of him getting injured, or his level of play was not worth keeping on active roster... know they wanted him to play LB
 

Eeyore

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Out for the season with a thumb injury? Ronnie Lot and Fred Thomas should fly to Tampa and slap Phillips in the face.

I'd guess that there may be a risk of nerve damage if he were to play with a cast. Otherwise I don't see why he couldn't play. Lott had part of a finger removed. A thumb is a whole different story.
 

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