Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs backup QB Ryan Griffin injured, Aguayo struggles in loss

CINCINNATI — Bucs QB Ryan Griffin waited two years for a chance to become the No. 2 quarterback.

After Friday's loss to the Bengals, he may have to wait longer.

Griffin suffered an injury to his right throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter when he was hit by Bengals DE Chris Smith. It's unknown how serious the injury is, but he did not return to the game.

Meanwhile, free agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for a touchdown and also led the Bucs to a field goal.

Fitzpatrick finished 4-of-11 for 36 yards and threw an interception.

Griffin, who has never taken a regular season snap in the NFL, alternated with Fitzpatrick on Friday after starter Jameis Winston left with a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Griffin finished 4-of-9 passing for 57 yards. The Bucs also have Colorado rookie Sefo Liufau, who entered the game late in the fourth quarter.

Aguayo starts on the bad foot

Roberto Aguayo may have lost whatever foothold he had on the Bucs' place-kicking job.

After starting with a chip-shot 20-yard field goal, Aguayo clanged an extra point off the right upright, and missed a 47-yard field goal wide right in the final minute. "Honestly, the (extra point) felt good," Aguayo said. "When I caught it, I knew I pushed it a little bit and I was like, 'hopefully it will stay in,' but it hit the upright. Unlucky. And the last one, I was trying to get a good hit on it. I hit it good and it just started to fade. You just have to keep your head up and move onto the next day.''

Meanwhile, Jets veteran free agent Nick Folk made his only field goal attempt from 45 yards. Aguayo's longest field goal as a rookie last season was 43 yards.

Coach Dirk Koetter wants to settle on a kicker sooner rather than later and doesn't want it to go to the final roster cutdown.

Ball hawk

CB Vernon Hargreaves (left) has been asked to take the football away more this season. He answered the call in the first quarter Friday.

Hargreaves intercepted a pass by Andy Dalton intended for Brandon LaFell at the 1-yard line to snuff out the Bengals only drive with their No. 1 offense.

"That was a huge play," Koetter said. "We challenged Vernon to take the ball away and he's done it."

The INT was especially big because the Bucs were playing without starter Brent Grimes, who was out with a lacerated right shin.

 
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