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DeSean Jackson out for Bucs vs. Panthers Because of Thumb Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 9:  DeSean Jackson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates in the end zone with a dance after catching a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 48-40.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson was ruled out Friday by head coach Dirk Koetter for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, according to Scott Smith of the Bucs' official website.

Per Rotoworld, Jackson has been dealing with a thumb injury, and he wore a brace on his thumb during practice on Wednesday and Thursday, rendering him unable to catch passes.

In 11 games this season, Jackson has hauled in 40 receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns.

Jackson has operated as one of the NFL's most dangerous deep threats throughout his 11-year career, which also includes time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. He registered 50 catches for 668 yards and three touchdowns across 14 games in his first year with the Bucs in 2017.

The 31-year-old has remained mostly durable as a pro. He has appeared in at least 10 regular-season games in every season of his career. He was forced to leave the team's Week 1 clash with the New Orleans Saints because of a concussion, though.

With Jackson out, Adam Humphries should start opposite Mike Evans, while tight end Cameron Brate will also take on additional pass-catching responsibility. Chris Godwin figures to receive more opportunities in the slot.

Ultimately, the Bucs' aerial attack will likely feature fewer deep shots from quarterback Jameis Winston without Jackson. More of the secondary's attention is going to focus on Evans, meaning Tampa's other targets must step up for the offense to find consistent success in the veteran's absence.

At 4-7, the Buccaneers are essentially in must-win mode. The Panthers are also in need of a victory, as they are in the thick of the NFC wild-card race at 6-5.Β  Β