Linebacker Quincy Black is expected to recover from a neck injury he suffered in Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.
Black, 28, was carted off the field after tackling running back Ryan Mathews in the third quarter of the Bucs' 34-24 victory over the Chargers.
Coach Greg Schiano said Monday Black had no spinal cord damage and has "full function," but is experiencing some complications with his left arm and will undergo further tests to determine his immediate future with the team. Schiano all but ruled Black out for Sunday's game at Carolina.
"Overall, he's going to be OK," Schiano said Monday. "Now, it's a serious injury and he's having some complications with his left arm, so there's still further tests he has to go through before we can make a definitive statement. But it's serious and how much time that means? We're going to have to see. As soon as we know, we'll let you know. But obviously, it's not good."
Black has use of his left arm but doctors believe there could be some nerve damage and are waiting for the swelling to go down before ordering further tests, according to his agent, Marc Lillibridge.
"From everything they told us, there's some swelling and whatever it is, that arm is not responding," Lillibridge said. "It's not like he's not using that left arm. They expect it to all come back and time should help it heal, but they got some tests they want to finish. They don't know exactly what it is yet, because there's trauma to the area."
Black remained on his back for several minutes following the helmet-to-helmet collision with Mathews, who was not injured on the play. His head and neck were immobilized before he was carted off the field but he gave a thumbs-up sign to teammates.
Schiano was the head coach at Rutgers when defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered two fractured vertebrae, a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed following a tackle on special teams in a game against Army in Oct. 2010.
"Because of what I've been through with Eric, I was a little relieved because I saw him move his right hand," Schiano said. "That was later when he gave the thumbs-up, but I saw him move it on the field. Because initially, when I saw him still, I was very worried ... totally different situation. He was fine, looked me in the eye, talked, speaking, totally different than when that happened before.
"The spine is fine. That stuff. It's just nerves and things coming off. I don't want to say too much because I'm not even exactly sure because I'd hate to misspeak. But I do know that it needs some further tests to get right to the bottom of it and there's some really smart, good doctors that are working on it right now for Quincy which makes me feel good that we're going to get him the best care and get the best solution and get him back to being well."