GLENDALE, AZ - In one quarter of football against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost one key starter on each side of the ball -- running back Doug Martin and defensive end Robert Ayers. Martin suffered a hamstring injury; Ayers suffered a left ankle injury.
Tight end Luke Stocker left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter, and wide receiver Cecil Shorts III left with a hamstring injury in the third, and the Buccaneers payed the price in the field with a lopsided 40-7 loss to the Cardinals.
With 10 minutes, 44 seconds to go in the first quarter, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was picked off on a deep post route intended for Mike Evans, with Martin coming off the field shortly after, dragging his leg behind him.
Ayers, who had 9 ½ sacks last year and was brought in to be the team's right defensive end, was limited all week by an ankle injury. He was officially listed as 'questionable' on the team's final injury report Friday.
Rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III briefly left the game in the second quarter with a right ankle injury, but he returned after being checked by the training staff.
Stocker is the team's primary run-blocking tight end; Shorts, who just signed with the Bucs last week, handles kickoff return duties.