For the second straight season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without their starting free safety Cody Grimm, as he has been lost for the year with a knee injury suffered in the 16-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Head coach Raheem Morris told reporters during his Monday morning press conference that Grimm's knee is "messed up" and that he has an MCL issue, with further tests taking place to look for further damage to Grimm's ACL. Grimm started 11-games for the Buccaneers as a rookie in 2010 but missed the final month of the regular season with a leg injury. Backup Corey Lynch will step into the starters role vacated by Grimm, with Larry Asante also competing for playing time.
The loss of Grimm comes at the same time that embattled safety Tanard Jackson is eligible to be reinstated to the NFL after completing a 1-year suspension for thrice violating the leagues substance abuse policy. Jackson is a gifted safety, and was once one of the Bucs' best defensive players before getting into trouble with the league, so surely the Buccaneers would be interested in getting his talent back in the fold.
However, T-Jax's status is still murky at best. Jackson must demonstrate that he has complied with the NFL's drug policy for the last year, as well as attending counseling and passing yet another drug test, before commissioner Roger Goodell will reinstate Jackson. The Bucs will also want time in practice to assess if Jackson is in football shape, assuming they take him back at all.
If Jackson has stayed clean, and has taken care of his body, its difficult to imagine that the Buccaneers would not welcome back his heavy hitting play to their depleted secondary.