The weekend has come and gone, but the recovery from Demar Dotson’s heart-attack inducing injury is ongoing for Bucs fans. Now that the hype (and panic) has settled, and some changes have rolled in, here’s some noteworthy news to digest moving forward.
Demar Dotson Suffered a Sprain, Not a Tear
The most terrifying moment of Tampa Bay’s first preseason game was seeing the starting right tackle on a team mostly devoid of trustworthy linemen go down. The very first reports were of a sprained MCL, which depending on severity might not be critical.
The reports quickly shifted to a potentially torn ACL as well, which could have ended Dotson’s season. Fortunately, the official word is that it is indeed a sprain only. Estimates are that Dotson could be out six to ten weeks, but we can hope for a return in the first quarter of the regular season.
Bucs Sign Veteran Offensive Tackle Gosder Cherilus
With Dotson’s injury, the Buccaneers quickly snatched up a veteran player in Gosder Cherilus. There was already interest on both sides, but the circumstances likely accelerated the deal. Cherilus has started 100 games throughout his NFL career, nearly twice as many as every other offensive tackle on the Tampa Bay roster combined…including Demar Dotson.
He struggled some last season, but he’s a proven starter who can hold Dotson’s spot while he recovers, and a more capable backup than anyone else on the roster. Don’t read too much into his contract being for two years, as this regime has proven they will cut ties if someone doesn’t perform. Regardless, Cherilus is a capable addition to a very questionable unit.
Rookie Kwon Alexander Promoted to Starting MLB
Anyone who watched the Buccaneers square off against the Minnesota Vikings saw the explosiveness of Kwon Alexander. He had some rookie mistakes, but he still made a significant impact. Jobs are won and lost in the preseason, and now all Alexander has to do is continue to perform to hold onto this one.
He moves ahead of veteran Bruce Carter who was acquired back in March, before the rookie was selected in the fourth round. There was some questioning of the Alexander pick, but the Buccaneers need more than just Lavonte David at linebacker. If he proves he can lead and control the defense from the middle with David by his side, Alexander can be a humongous asset in the years to come.