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Gerald McCoy has played through torn rotator cuff all year

in overtime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome on November 1, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Scott Cunningham

Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has continued to play well this year, earning his fourth straight Pro Bowl invitation last night.

But this one hasn’t been as easy as the first three, as he admitted he’s been playing hurt all season.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, McCoy said he suffered a torn rotator cuff in Week Two. He also dealt with a broken left hand, and missed one game after surgery for that, but leads the team with 7.5 sacks.

“I was quoted as saying this has been my toughest year mentally,” McCoy said. “I’ve been playing all year with a torn rotator cuff. I’m not a guy to make excuses. When people say I’m not doing this and I’m not doing that, I never attacked anyone. I just said I need to be better.

“I love this team, and I love this game, and anything it takes to be out there, I’m going to do it. That’s just me.”

Running back Doug Martin, who also made the Pro Bowl, said McCoy was the “epitome of toughness.”

“He’s been injured, and anybody could’ve stopped playing, but he didn’t because we needed him,” Martin said.

By staying out there, McCoy joined a select group of Bucs players to make four straight Pro Bowls, a group which includes Lee Roy Selmon, Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp and John Lynch.

Even if fully healthy, that’s quite a club to join, making the accomplishment even more impressive.