First, he lost his starting job. Now Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount might be missing a chunk of time with an undisclosed injury.
Could next on the docket be a trade out of Tampa Bay? And would any team be interested?
Blount has lost the majority of his role in the Buccaneers offense to rookie Doug Martin, and he left Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers with what seemed to be a mysterious injury.
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano didn't have much information on the injury following the game.
Schiano, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times:
LeGarrette could have gone back in the game. So, let me make that clear. I don't know if we're all certain on what's ailing LeGarrette. He came out of the game and we thought it was his leg. We're not sure. … I think he's okay.
It was widely believed following the game that the injury could be a leg ailment.
Wednesday, we finally got our answer. The Buccaneers official Twitter account reported that Blount will undergo an MRI on his neck and back, although no specific injury was listed.
Blount will get an MRI on his neck and his back. Dominik says player safety always comes first.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 12, 2012
The MRI is an interesting twist in this ongoing saga.
Blount is clearly the No. 2 back on the Bucs' depth chart after Martin received 28 total touches against the Panthers Sunday. Blount was given just three carries for eight yards and had one catch for 11.
He was the starter for most of the last two seasons. A four-touch role probably isn't exactly what Blount had in mind.
The Buccaneers do have other options at running back if they wanted to deal Blount. D.J. Ware and Michael Smith are capable options if Martin were to get hurt.
But would Blount have any value on the trade market?
ESPN's Rumor Central wondered that same idea Wednesday.
There are teams with a short-term need at running back, including potentially the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Blount could give each team a boost while their respective running backs get healthy.
That's the kicker, however: Blount is hurt, too. He would need to be completely healthy for any move to go down.
This is all speculation, but maybe that's where the MRI comes in—to make sure Blount is healthy for a potential move down the road.
But even if he is healthy, it's hard to imagine any team dealing a pick for a back that has struggled to maintain his role and stay on the field.
The Bucs may not be crazy about dealing him either, as he has mostly accepted his new role while also providing an insurance plan in case Martin were to go down with a significant injury.
No concrete interest from the Bucs has been reported on dealing Blount. Even if there was, it doesn't appear Tampa Bay would find much in terms of a trading partner interested in giving up a pick for an injury-prone backup.
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