Two important games today: Louisville-FSU, and Panthers-Saints. Here's your open thread!
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could very well be without two important starters on offense against the Cleveland Browns.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one fairly major injury issue. It's not Doug Martin -- his absence seems almost certain and will be felt, but it's not exactly disastrous for the team's offense. The problem is Anthony Collins, who missed a second consecutive practice with a foot injury.
Collins hasn't played well as the team's starting left tackle, but his backup is Oniel Cousins -- and he is absolutely horrible. He can't even hack it at guard, so his playing tackle would likely be an entirely novel level of incompetence, not before witnessed in the annals of Bucs history.
One alternative is that rookie fifth-round pick Kevin Pamphile makes his first start, or that right tackle Demar Dotson slides over to right tackle. Neither solution is ideal, as it's not clear that placing Pamphile or Cousins at right tackle would do all that much more good, and Pamphile has yet to take an NFL snap.
Other than Martin and Collins, the Bucs are mostly healthy. Trindon Holliday tweaked his hamstring today, and his injury is of unknown severity. A few veterans were limited in practice, but all of them should play on Sunday as minor scrapes are fairly common at this point in the season.
|Player||No.||Pos.||Injury||Wed. Participation||Thurs. Participation|
|Anthony Collins||73||T||Foot||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Trindon Holliday||11||WR||Hamstring||Limited Participation|
|Evan Dietrich-Smith||62||C||Knee||Limited Participation||Limited Participation|
|Vincent Jackson||83||WR||Rib||Limited Participation||Limited Participation|
|Michael Johnson||90||DE||Hand||Limited Participation||Limited Participation|
|Brandon Magee||53||LB||Knee||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Doug Martin||22||RB||Ankle||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Player||No.||Pos.||Injury||Wed. Participation||Thurs. Participation|
|Desmond Bryant||92||DL||Wrist||Full Participation||Full Participation|
|Jordan Cameron||84||TE||Concussion||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Jim Leonard||30||DB||Hamstring||Full Participation||Full Participation|
|Barkevious Mingo||51||LB||Shoulder||Full Participation||Full Participation|
|Ahtyba Rubin||71||DL||Ankle||Limited Participation||Full Participation|
|Rodney Smith||13||WR||Hamstring||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Phil Taylor||98||DL||Knee||Did Not Participate||Did Not Participate|
|Joe Thomas||73||T||Not Injury Related||Did Not Participate||Full Participation|
|K'Waun Williams||36||DB||Shoulder/Neck||Full Participation||Full Participation|
|Billy Winn||90||DL||Quad||Full Participation||Full Participation|
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing things close to the vest when it comes to Charles Sims.
The mystery of the week is Charles Sims. The third-round rookie is finally eligible to return to play this week, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't activated him yet -- so we don't know what to make of him. Every coach seems to be really excited about his return, and we know the team loves his potential, but will he be an instant performer? Will he even get a lot of carries to start?
Sims for his part wouldn't talk about his availability for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, telling Tom Krasniqi that that's up to the coaches. He hasn't been added to the roster yet, even though there's an open roster spot. It seems very likely that he'll be activated on Saturday to play in Sunday's game, but there's no reason for the Bucs to clue the Browns in on what they're planning to do.
I'd be shocked if Sims isn't at least active for Sunday's game, though.
Meanwhile, Doug Martin was out of his walking boot today, per Greg Auman, although he still didn't participate in practice. It seems exceedingly unlikely that he'll be ready for Sunday's game, and given his lackluster performance there's no real need for the Bucs to rush him back, either.
With Charles Sims' return, Martin's injury and Bobby Rainey's continued production, Martin's time as even a potentially productive player is over. The question is whether Rainey and Sims can be more productive -- and which one of them will take the eventual lead. So far, it seems likely we'll see more of a split load in the backfield, at least over the next couple of weeks, but I do expect Charles Sims to emerge as the clear starter eventually.
Of course, the other question is whether the choice of back even matters with this offensive line.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a $500,000 one-week fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.
DLT gives you another frightfully bad set of NFL picks.
Hello my ghouls and goblins and welcome to this Halloween edition of DLT's DEADlocks. I am your host...your ghost host.
Last week, the Masked Manatee ended up with a 9-6 week and 0-1 on his upset specials.
Let's see what I can scare up for you this week.
9-6 60% Upset Specials: 0-1 0%
74-47 61% Upset Specials: 5-10 33%
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use Lee Roy Selmon to help their defense.
Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) October 29, 2014
Which former legend would I add to the Buccaneers right now?
There are so many answers I could give here. I could look to some of the best players in Bucs history -- Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, but then the Bucs already have Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David. They could find bigger upgrades at different positions.
I could look at quarterback, but the Bucs don't exactly have a long history of quality quarterback play. Doug Williams was promising before leaving for the USFL, and Vinny Testaverde eventually turned into a solid starter, but there's no one who could come into this team, take over at quarterback and immediately produce a high-powered offense.
The Bucs have also always lacked quality offensive linemen, but they could add Paul Gruber -- a ten-year starter at left tackle, and one of the most consistent players the Bucs have ever had. How much of a difference would he make, though? The rest of the line would still be a sieve.
No, I'd go for the late, great Lee Roy Selmon -- for my money, the best player to have ever suited up in a Bucs uniform. Watching him play the game of football is a delight. I never got a chance to see him live -- I wasn't even born when he hung up his cleats -- but I've seen a lot of games from his time, and Selmon was as dominant as I've seen them. Comparing him to J.J. Watt is not out of place.
If we added Selmon to the Bucs defense this instant, the Bucs' pass rush issues would immediately be fixed. He and Gerald McCoy would be truly unstoppable side by side: there is no good way to dedicate extra blockers to both of those players, which would be exactly what teams would have to do to stop them.
And that pass rush would be so devastating its effects should be felt all over the rest of the defense, which hasn't exactly been blameless.
Even so, this team has more issues than one player can fix. The offensive line is a mess, the running game is going nowhere, and Mike Glennon is a nice game manager who can't take over an offense by himself. Even with Selmon, the defense will still struggle at times: the secondary has been a mess, and the Bucs have not been very good at holding up in coverage at any level of the defense.
Still, I don't think any other player would have the impact that Lee Roy Selmon would have. It's just that even his addition wouldn't be enough to get the Bucs more than six wins.
Here's your open thread for today.
Losing Barron was 'tough' on draft-mate David | Tampa Bay Times
Safety Mark Barron and linebacker Lavonte David figured they would anchor the Bucs defense for years to come when they were the first two players taken by the team on that side of the ball in the 2012 NFL draft.
Ankle injury still hampers Bucs' Doug Martin | Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA — The ankle injury that took Bucs RB Doug Martin out of Sunday's game against the Vikings in the third quarter still had him sidelined three days later. He watched Wednesday's practice with a walking boot on his left foot.
Lovie Smith insists trades don't leave Bucs barren | Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA — Lovie Smith wants you to know that the Bucs remain laser-focused on giving this year's team the best chance to win right now. Pay no attention to the eye that keeps gazing toward the future.
Bucs pass protection not keeping QB Glennon safe | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times
In the past two games, losses a mostly veteran line allowed first Baltimore and then Minnesota to sack quarterback Mike Glennon five times each.
Bucs notes: Players react to Barron, Casillas trades | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times
A chair was turned around in an empty locker room stall Wednesday as the Buccaneers returned to work without two defensive players who departed in trades.
Hot Reads: Slow starts still plague Bucs offense | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times
Another game, another slow start. That warped, broken record continued for the Bucs in Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss to Minnesota
Lovie Smith high on safeties Major Wright, Bradley McDougald - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog - ESPN
TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded strong safety Mark Barron to the St. Louis Rams for a pair of draft picks Tuesday, there was an instant impression among fans that the team was writing off this season and looking ahead to next year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns preview - ESPN
Analzying and predicting the Week 9 matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns
Tampa Bay Buccaneers free-agent class has been quiet - ESPN
A look at how free agents are faring for 1-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Misses In Free Agency Have Contributed To Bucs' 1-6 Mark | Pewter Report
With Tampa Bay nearing the midseason of the 2014 season, it’s time to review the free agent blunders that the Bucs' front office have made.
Buc Quotes: Sims Could Lend a Spark
Rookie RB Charles Sims has a chance to return to action this weekend in Cleveland after spending the first eight weeks of the season on injured reserve…Plus, other discussions.
Rookie WR Evans Turning Heads
Wednesday Notes: The Bucs' offense needs a spark in the second half of the season, and it could come from rookie wideout Mike Evans, who is improving each week...Plus, practice squad moves and more
The Bucs have a few new injuries on the report this week.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemed healthy just a week ago, coming off of a bye week, but another week in the NFL means more injury issues, and new names have cropped up on the injury report.
Here is the full injury report for the Buccaneers.
|Anthony Collins||Foot||Did Not Practice|
|Doug Martin||Ankle||Did Not Practice|
|Brandon Magee||Knee||Did Not Practice|
|Evan Dietrich-Smith||Knee||Limited Practice|
|Vincent Jackson||Rib||Limited Practice|
|Michael Johnson||Hand||Limited Practice|
Martin's absence means Bobby Rainey and Mike James will see more reps in practice, along with Charles Sims, who is returning from short-term injured reserve to join the team after an ankle injury. No matter who is running the ball, their job will be made tougher if Anthony Collins is out, as the former Bengal missed practice, as well.
Vincent Jackson's limited status is no surprise, and veterans Michael Johnson and EDS both got some time off today to nurse minor bumps and bruises. Josh McCown did not appear on the injury report, so it is safe to say he is participating fully in practice.
|Jordan Cameron||Concussion||Did Not Practice|
|Joe Thomas||Non-Injury||Did Not Practice|
The initial reaction to the trade of Mark Barron was decidedly mixed. What do you think now? Did the Bucs get a good deal, or did they give away a good player for peanuts?
On the one hand, this gave the Bucs a couple of draft picks for a player who wasn't playing all that well, and who wasn't a great fit for the team's system -- at least in the way they were using him. Barron was hardly a difference maker, and replacing him with Major Wright will lead to a dropoff in production, but it shouldn't be disastrous. So getting a couple of picks in return is fairly useful.
On the other hand, the Bucs initially gave up a seventh overall pick for Mark Barron in the 2012 NFL draft. He's not a talentless player. And while he hadn't been playing well this season, part of the problem was the way they were using him -- he'd be more valuable in a different system, like the Rams defense. So did the Bucs really get as much as they could for Barron?
So give us your grade and thoughts on the trade!