TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith will miss the 2019 season after being placed on the Reserve Non-Football Injury List, and sources told ESPN on Friday that his ankle injury could be career-threatening.
Beckwith also missed last season as a result of the fractured ankle, which he suffered in a car accident in April 2018.
A third-round draft pick in 2017, Beckwith becoming one of the Bucs’ most dependable players on defense as a rookie, starting nine games and playing all three linebacker positions. He finished the season with 73 combined tackles (60 solo), two pass breakups, a sack and a forced fumble.
While he was back home in Louisiana in April 2018, Beckwith allowed former LSU teammate Lamin Barrow to drive his Camaro with him to the gas station. Barrow lost control of the vehicle, which went nose-down into a ditch and hit a fence.
Beckwith required surgery to repair the broken ankle. Barrow suffered a broken femur.
Beckwith missed the first 11 weeks of the season last year, but practiced with the team for 21 days, as was permitted by league rules. At the time, he felt optimistic about a return, but the team ultimately placed him on injured reserve, determining that he wasn’t ready to play at the level he needed to.
His being placed on the Reserve-NFI list comes at a bad time for the Bucs, who learned that star pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul sustained a potentially season-ending neck fracture in an auto accident last week.
Pierre-Paul has been undergoing further testing this week to determine the next course of action.