The Buccaneers will host the Bears on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) without four key starters.
Tampa Bay announced Friday that tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Antonio Brown, linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Richard Sherman are all out with injuries. Gronkowski and David have now missed consecutive games. Brown will miss a second game this season. Sherman will miss a game for the first time since signing with the Bucs in late September.
Gronkowski suffered multiple rib fractures in the Buccaneers’ 34-24 loss to the Rams in Week 3. The 32-year-old broke one rib, cracked four others and suffered a punctured lung before leaving the field. He totaled 184 yards and four touchdowns through Tampa Bay’s first three games.
Brown is out with an ankle sprain he suffered in the Buccaneers’ 28-22 win over the Eagles in Week 6. He was withheld from participation during the week. He is expected to be replaced by Tyler Johnson. Brown has 418 receiving yards and four touchdowns in five games.
David suffered a low-ankle sprain during the Buccaneers’ 45-17 win over the Dolphins in Week 5 and then missed the Eagles game. He was unavailable to practice this week. He has 34 tackles and a sack in five games.
Sherman suffered a hamstring injury during the Bucs’ victory over the Eagles. He is expected to return in a few weeks but has not been placed on injured reserve. Replacing him in the lineup could be a challenge, although Tampa Bay will be going up against the league’s 32nd-ranked passing offense Sunday. Dee Delaney took over for Sherman against the Eagles.