Dekoda Watson, James Lee, Ted Larsen in starting lineup for Bucs
The Bucs have announced their inactive list and starting lineups for today's game against the Panthers, and there are a couple of noteworthy decisions.
The one surprise is that linebacker Quincy Black will miss today's game with an ankle injury, this after saying on Friday that he believed he would play today. That has pressed rookie seventh-round pick Dekoda Watson into the starting lineup as he will see his first extensive action of his career. Watson has played solely on special teams up until Black injured his ankle in last week's game. Look for Watson to be used as a pass rusher on passing downs, where his speed is an asset.
There's also news on the offensive line. Ted Larsen will remain at left guard despite the availability of Jeremy Zuttah, who won't have to play center now that Jeff Faine has returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a quad injury. At right tackle, Jeremy Trueblood won't start after all, although coach Raheem Morris strongly suggested he would. Instead, James Lee will make his third straight start, possibly because he played well in Trueblood's absence.
At left defensive end, Tim Crowder will start for Kyle Moore, who is out today with an injury. Crowder had one of the best games of his career in the first meeting with Carolina, so maybe he can recapture some of that magic today.
Other inactives include fullback Earnest Graham, who has a hamstring injury and is still mourning the death of his mother a week ago. Erik Lorig starts again for Graham. Receiver Sammie Strougher is also out, for a second straight game, after a foot injury he suffered at Arizona.