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Photo: Richard Sherman; Credit: Buccaneers.com

What had been expected is now official: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are placing cornerback Richard Sherman on the injured reserve, the team announced on Wednesday. Sherman will miss at least three games while on the reserve.

Sherman has not played since Week 6 when he pulled his hamstring against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 11th-year pro was set to make his return to play this past Sunday against the Washington Football Team but strained his calf during pre-game warmups and was quickly ruled out of the contest.

"I doubt seriously if [Sherman will] be back anytime soon," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said on Monday. Sherman proceeded to have an MRI on the injury on Monday which confirmed a Grade 2 strain.

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In three appearances this season, Sherman has tallied 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.

The Bucs' roster now stands at 51 players following Sherman's move to the IR. Three players - cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow)  wide receiver Scotty Miller (toe) and long snapper Zach Triner (finger) - currently have their 21-day injured reserve practice windows opened and could be activated at any time.

Tampa Bay is hopeful that Murphy-Bunting can be activated from the reserve sooner rather than later, so long as his elbow shows continual improvement on the practice field. Fellow cornerbacks Carlton Davis III and Rashard Robinson remain on injured reserve while Dee Delaney is dealing with a concussion, which could lead Tampa Bay to sign a cornerback in the near future.

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