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Knee injury ends season for Bucs WR Cecil Shorts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is out for the season with a significant right knee injury suffered during the first half of Sunday's 28-21 win over the San Diego Chargers.

Shorts told ESPN's Britt McHenry that he dislocated his right knee and tore his ACL, MCL and PCL.

Shorts didn't travel home to Tampa after the game, staying in San Diego instead.

Shorts posted a message on Instagram on Monday, thanking fans for their support and emphasizing that the hit on him "definitely wasn't dirty."

We appreciate you all! Please continue to pray for us thru this process. I promise we're praying for you all as well. 🙏

A video posted by Cecil C Shorts III (@cecilshortsiii) on

"It's going to be a tough journey, but something we definitely can get through," Shorts said in the video. "We love the game, but the game doesn't love you back. That play yesterday definitely wasn't dirty. I talked to the guy and he definitely showed love and I showed love back to him. Just thank you for your thoughts and prayers."

On the Bucs' first possession, Shorts caught a short pass from Jameis Winston on third-and-9, but he then took a vicious hit across the middle of the field from Chargers safety Jahleel Addae. It sent Shorts airborne, and he landed on his shoulder and neck. He lay on the field for several seconds, and a cart was brought out and he was placed in an air cast.

The Bucs are already without starter Vincent Jackson, who was placed on IR with a knee injury. Shorts stepped in as Jackson's replacement, providing veteran leadership for a young receiving corps.

Special-teams captain Russell Shepard's reps will likely expand, but not by much because of his special-teams duties. The next viable replacement is former Eagles wideout Josh Huff, who is currently on the practice squad. Donteea Dye, Jr. is also a potential replacement because he played in Bucs coach Dirk Koetter's system last year, seeing action in 10 games -- including six starts -- and is currently on the practice squad.

Information from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jenna Laine was included in this report.