Rookie Peyton Barber to start at RB for Bucs vs. Falcons
Here's the answer you've been waiting for all week: The Bucs are starting rookie Peyton Barber at running back in tonight's game against the Falcons.
Barber is the Bucs' fourth starting running back in eight games, with Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers all still sidelined by injuries. Barber rushed for 84 yards in the Bucs' win at the 49ers two weeks ago, including a 44-yard touchdown, but barely played in Sunday's loss to the Raiders, logging only three snaps.
Expect the Bucs to still use veteran Antone Smith plenty tonight, especially as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Mike James rejoined the team on Tuesday and could see action as well, but he hasn't been with the team in two months and hasn't had a touch in an NFL game in nearly two years.
The Bucs had Martin and Rodgers inactive, along with two other injured players in DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) and WR Russell Shepard (hip). Rookie offensive linemen Caleb Benenoch and Leonard Wester are inactive, as usual, as is No. 3 QB Ryan Griffin.