The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with enough injuries on the field, but now it's extending to their coaching staff as well.
The team announced Tuesday that Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford had taken a leave of absence as the Bucs began preparation for their Week 4 game at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tedford, a first-year OC under head coach Lovie Smith, had a heart procedure performed last month and is still recovering. His absence is described as "indefinite" and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo will continue being the play-caller for the Buccaneers.
It hasn't exactly gone smoothly for the 0-3 Buccaneers. They sit last in the NFL with 163.3 passing yards per game and 20th in the league with 107.7 rushing yards a game.
A season that started with high expectations for the Bucs has gone starkly in the other direction. The absence of their OC can account for some of the blame, as can a Week 1 injury to running back Doug Martin (he's expected back against Pittsburgh). The receiving combination of Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans was supposed to thrive with free-agent signee Josh McCown under center. But things aren't close to that scenario at this point, and McCown may miss Week 4 with a sprained thumb.
Without the captain who was hired to steer the ship, Tampa Bay is still trying to figure things out. On the positive side, they had an extra few days to prepare for this game, having last played on Thursday night in a brutal 56-14 defeat at the hands of division-rival Atlanta on the road.