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Biggers injury could be costly

Posted Jul 28, 2012 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Jul 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—The Buccaneers are hoping E.J. Biggers is a quick healer.

The fourth-year pro hasn’t missed a game in the past two seasons while playing nickel in Tampa Bay’s secondary. Biggers was a solid player in 2010 as the Bucs went 10-6, but his play slipped during last season’s 4-12 debacle.

Now Biggers is nursing a leg injury that could keep him sidelined for training camp and beyond. New head coach Greg Schiano was light on the specifics surrounding the Biggers injury Saturday morning, but a glance at Tampa Bay’s depth chart suggests the Bucs need him back pronto.

If Ronde Barber shifts to safety after 15 NFL seasons, the Bucs have Aqib Talib, Eric Wright and Biggers as their only experienced corners. Behind them are former third-round pick Myron Lewis, Anthony Gaitor, Derrick Roberson and rookies Leonard Johnson, Marquese Wheaton, Keith Tandy and Desmond Marrow.

The only player in that group who has started an NFL game is Lewis, who opened once for the Bucs last year.

In a quarterback-driven division that features Drew Brees of New Orleans, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Carolina’s Cam Newton, a sound secondary is paramount. Biggers played on more than 50 percent of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps and Brees makes a nice living exposing weaknesses at corner.

As Schiano lamented, the Bucs weren’t even in pads yet when Biggers and WR Arrelious Benn (knee) went down.

At this point, the Biggers injury looms as the bigger concern.

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