Tampa Bay linebacker Quincy Black is expected to recover from a neck injury suffered against San Diego but is experiencing complications with his left arm.
Black was carted off the field after tackling running back Ryan Mathews during the third quarter of the Buccaneers' 34-24 victory over the Chargers.
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said Monday that Black did not suffer any spinal damage and that the sixth-year pro had "full function" with the exception of a problem with his left arm that will keep him off the field for an undetermined length of time.
"Overall, he's going to be OK," Schiano said. "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. How much time that means, we're going to have to see."
Black remained on the field on his back after appearing make helmet-to-helmet contact with Mathews, who was not injured. The linebacker's neck and back were immobilized before he was placed on a cart, transported to a nearby hospital for observation and later released.
"The spine is fine. It's nerves and things coming off. I don't want to say too much because I'm not even exactly sure, and I don't want to misspeak," Schiano said.
"But I do know that it's going to need some further tests to get to the bottom of it," the coach added. "There's a lot of really smart, good doctors that are working on it right now for Quincy, which makes me feel good. We're going to get him the best care, and get the best solution, and get him back to being well."
Schiano, who's in his first season with Tampa Bay, was the head coach at Rutgers when former Scarlet Knights player Eric LeGrand's career was ended when he broke two vertebrae and suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a kickoff return against Army in October 2010.
The coach couldn't help but think of the paralyzed defensive lineman when Black remained on the ground, however he almost immediately spotted a positive sign.
"I think actually because of what I've been through with Eric, I was a little relieved because I saw (Black) move his right hand," Schiano said. "It was a totally different situation. He was fine, looking me in the eye and talking. Totally different than when that happened before."
Schiano also visited Black at the hospital before the player was released late Sunday.
"He had just been through a lot of tests. But he was OK," Schiano said. "He's a grown man, he's a mature guy. He knows there's something. It's not a little thing, but I think he'll be fine."
Black's teammates are pulling for him, too.
"It's bigger than football. He's on of my good friends, and a guy I look up to. He helped me as a rookie and still helps me out," second-year linebacker Mason Foster said. You see him hurt, it's definitely a blow, but you got to keep playing, and next man up."
The Bucs (5-4) have overcome injuries that forced Schiano to juggle the offensive line and use some inexperienced players in the defensive secondary to win four of the past five games to climb over .500 after a 1-3 start.
Schiano would not speculate on long Black might be sidelined or if the injury could threaten his career.
"I don't know enough yet. That would be speculating. I sure hope not," the coach said. "I think right now we still have to do these other tests to find out exactly what it is."