Amid offensive line injuries, Bucs promote Ben Gottschalk
Injuries to the Bucs' interior offensive line have prompted the team to promote guard/center Ben Gottschalk from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, and he could be the second Bucs offensive lineman making his NFL debut Sunday against the Bears.
Starting left guard Kevin Pamphile is out with a concussion and starting center Joe Hawley is doubtful with a knee injury -- that means backup Evan Smith is expected to start at center and rookie Caleb Benenoch, who has been inactive for the first eight games, is likely to start at left guard in Pamphile's place. Gottschalk would likely dress as the Bucs' top backup at center and guard, in case of another injury during the game.
Gottschalk, 24, has spent much of the last two years with the Bucs, with a brief stint in spring 2015, then finishing last season on the practice squad. He competed for a backup job in preseason this year but landed on the practice squad, where he's been all season. He played collegiately at SMU, where he was a two-year starter in 2012-13.