<
>

Source: DE Noah Spence undergoes surgery to repair torn labrum

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive end Noah Spence is undergoing surgery Wednesday morning to repair a fully torn labrum in his right shoulder, a source told ESPN.

Spence, 23, suffered the tear and dislocation in the Bucs' 27-7 loss to the Denver Broncos on Oct. 2. He underwent an MRI last week to determine the extent of the injury and met with doctors Tuesday.

The procedure is being performed at Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. He is expected to make a full recovery. It is unclear at this point how much he'll be able to participate in the team's offseason program.

Spence, a 2016 second-round draft pick, originally downplayed the injury, stating that it was a "partial tear." He was back playing the very next week in the Bucs' 17-14 win over the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. The Bucs had only one healthy starting defensive lineman in the game. Spence wore a neoprene shoulder harness from then on, which was designed to keep the shoulder in place.

He dislocated the shoulder again in the Bucs' Week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers. He attempted to reset the joint out on the field and resumed playing, finishing the game with 45 snaps (64 percent) on defense.

On trying to reset the joint, Spence said, "It didn't feel good ... I knew it was the last game and I just wanted to give it all for my team. So I did. I wasn't going out ... I love these guys. I was going to put all I could into playing for these guys."

He did not miss a game because the injury. He finished the season with 5.5 sacks, fifth among rookies and third on his team behind veterans Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers.