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Buccaneers fullback Jorvorskie Lane out for season with right leg injury

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TAMPA, Florida — Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Jorvorskie Lane will miss the rest of the season with a right leg injury.

Lane was placed on injured reserve Monday, a day after he was hurt early in the second quarter of Sunday's 21-13 loss at Chicago.

Lane will need surgery for the injury.

"I'm ready to get it done to get into the healing process," he said. "It's very disappointing, but it's part of this game."

Lane is the only fullback on the Bucs' depth chart. Coach Lovie Smith said his injury, along with injuries to their tight ends, limited the Bucs' offensive options against Chicago.

"That hurt us yesterday," Smith said. "It's hard to have a true running attack that we envisioned coming into the game, but you need to be able to adjust.

"That's what forced us to become more of a passing (team). You have to go with the best opportunity to be successful offensively, and that's what we had to do."

The Bucs led 7-0 when Lane was injured on his only carry of the game. They led 10-0 at halftime, but ran only eight times for 24 yards in the second half. Three Buccaneers turnovers in the third quarter helped the Bears come back and hand the Bucs their ninth loss in 11 games.

PHOTO: Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Jorvorskie Lane (46) is helped to a cart after an injury during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Jorvorskie Lane (46) is helped to a cart after an injury during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

"I was devastated," said Lane, who watched the second half from a trainers' room at Soldier Field.

"Man, it's been a tough year."

The Bucs have struggled to run all season. They rank 31st in rushing attempts (239), 29th in yards rushing (84 per game) and 24th in yards per rush (3.9).

Smith said Monday that the retooling of the offensive line has been less than successful.

"I think that's safe to say," he said. "We haven't played as well on the offensive line as we had hoped. We thought we needed to retool it starting off and had a few injuries, but we hadn't played as well as we need too. Everything starts up front, and as we talk about what we're doing offensively, I'll always start off talking about our offensive line."

After hiring Smith as head coach, the Bucs released veteran offensive linemen Davin Joseph and Donald Penn and traded center Jeremy Zuttah for a draft pick. They signed tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith as free agents and traded for guard Logan Mankins. Tackle Demar Dotson is the only returning starter on the offensive line.

"You come into a game and you have a commitment to running the football a certain amount of times," Smith said. "Then you get into a game and you have to look at what's working for you. ... Whenever we have 22 carries or something like that, would we like to have those numbers up? Yes."


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