The Buccaneers have placed defensive end George Johnson on injured reserve due to a hip injury during Thursday's practice.
“As you know, George suffered a significant hip injury yesterday and he had to be placed on IR," Koetter said following Friday's practice. "Unfortunate for George because he was playing well at the time."
GM Jason Licht traded for Johnson prior to the 2015 season, in hopes that he would reinforce the Buccaneers' pass rush. After showing solid play alongside DT Ndamukong Suh in Detroit, it seemed to be plausible that Johnson would thrive next to the likes of Gerald McCoy on Tampa's defensive line. However, this didn't exactly pan out, as Johnson didn't record a single sack last season and was eventually demoted.
“We don’t want to lose anybody. Shoot, right now any injury is a blow to our depth right now because these guys are competing for spots. Yeah, it’s a blow and it’s unfortunate. The worst part of this game is that, is the injury situation. It’s the worst part about football on any level, is the injuries. [It’s] unfortunate and we wish George the best in his recovery," Koetter said.
“Kourtnei Brown and Howard Jones are guys that are going to be put into the limelight right now. They were already there in the competition, but it’s going to increase their role a little bit.”
As a result of Johnson's injury, the Bucs have signed DE Martin Ifedi, a player off of last year's practice squad. Ifedi was originally waived on May 2 by the team, but has been called back up and will wear number 67 for the Buccaneers.
Matching Johnson's zero sacks in a Buccaneer uniform shouldn't be that tough.