The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense is going to be missing an important piece.
No, I'm not rehashing a story about Tanard Jackson or Aqib Talib. This time the Buc defender will be out because of something on the field.
Angelo Crowell will miss the 2009 season with a torn biceps muscle. He injured the arm on Saturday night in the Bucs' 24-23 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In my opinion, this is the biggest development of this year's training camp.
Yes, bigger than the indecisions at the quarterback position, positive urine tests or late night fight clubs in the back of a taxi.
The loss of the talented linebacker will leave a huge hole in the Bucs defense.
Admittedly, when the Bucs signed the former Buffalo Bill linebacker this offseason, they were banking on potential that may or may not have panned out.
However, Crowell provided results on the field in a few years in Buffalo. In his last season with the Bills, Crowell lead the team with 126 tackles, and he tallied two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
That year was 2007. Crowell missed last season with a knee injury. He also battled injuries in the 2006 season that included a torn triceps muscle that required surgery.
Had he been healthy, I think Crowell would have lead the Bucs in tackles this season. He has great athletic ability and football acumen.
As it is, Crowell will be out of football for two years, 29 years old next season and probably tagged with an "injury-prone" label. That is a tough assignment for a comeback.
This defense will be without a starting safety for four games, a starting linebacker for the year and, perhaps, a starting cornerback for a game or two.
Little-utilized Quincy Black will now move into the starting role at the strong linebacker position.
For a defense that faltered down the stretch last year, the losses in the offseason and now in training camp do not bode well at all.
Tampa faithful must hope that the switch in defensive systems can make up for a loss of talent and decline in productivity.