The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on the injured reserve Monday after he suffered a dislocated elbow against the Dallas Cowboys in week one.
At first, head coach Bruce Arians said after the game that he believed that Murphy-Bunting was "going to be alright," not sharing a possible timetable for the cornerback's return but at least sounding optimistic. A few days later when Murphy-Bunting went on IR, the team shared that he'd be out for at least three games due to the reserve list protocols.
Now, Arians has said that Murphy-Bunting's injury could keep him sidelined anywhere from four weeks, as a best-case scenario, to the rest of the season, as Arians told media on Tuesday according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. The team is waiting for more results to come in the next few days before making a determination.
The wide range of possible times that Murphy-Bunting could take the field for the Buccaneers again is confusing, but it's worth remembering that the injury he went down with was pretty gruesome. Injuries like this usually require a find-out-as-you-go approach which could lead to an inconsistent return timetable, which makes it hard to blame anyone for any confusion at this point.
Until Murphy-Bunting is able to return, whenever that may be, expect to see Ross Cockrell and perhaps a safety such as Antoine Winfield Jr. fill his spot at slot cornerback.
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