Buccaneers offensive tackle Donald Penn took it personally when Davin Joseph got carted off the field prior to halftime against the Patriots in the 30-28 Bucs win.
"You see your best friend get hurt, and very severe hurt, I feel awful." said Penn. "The guy had an inside move and I took him down to the ground and he fell right into Davin's leg."
The extent of Joseph's injury hasn't been released, but it could potentially cost the offensive guard the season.
Heading into 2012, the strength of the Buccaneers appeared to be on their offensive line, but a season-ending injury to a pro bowler like Joseph would change that equation, especially when you add in his locker room presence.
"Davin is one of the leaders on this team. He's a tough guy and a hardworking guy, and you always hate to see one of your leaders be carted off the field," said quarterback Josh Freeman.
As for the defensive line, they had two scares in last night's contest when Gerald McCoy and Adrian Claiborne stayed on the turf for a while. The good news is neither one should miss any extended period of time.
Despite the dings up front, the defense managed to put pressure on Tom Brady sacking him twice and hitting him four times.
"I feel like we did a great job against him, put a lot of pressure on him, I feel like we had him rattled a little bit," said safety Mark Barron.
The Bucs battering of Brady pushed New England head coach Bill Belichick to say, "We didn't do anything offensively but lose yardage."
As for the Bucs offense, the Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson connection made its biggest impact thus far, setting the tone on the opening drive of the game.
"Vincent on that first drive ran his conversion routes. He looked really good," Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams said.
But the defense stole the show, forcing Brady and the Patriots first string to play into the fourth quarter. In fact, most of Brady's success was against the Bucs second unit.
"This is something we can obviously build on," said safety Rhonde Barber. "I think we'll be encouraged when we look at the film. We played well against one of the dominant teams in the league, but it means nothing at this point."
Sunday night could be a restless one for some Buccaneers. The roster has to be trimmed down to 75 by 4:00 p.m. Monday.
Then Washington comes calling on Wednesday as the Bucs try to close out the preseason on a winning note. That game is not likely to see a lot of starters play as they try to hold them for the week one opener against Carolina.