Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dotson, Lovie Smith differ on promises made to returning Bucs tackle

Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, above, says he was told he would be in the starting lineup once he returned from a knee injury, but coach Lovie Smith disputes that claim.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, above, says he was told he would be in the starting lineup once he returned from a knee injury, but coach Lovie Smith disputes that claim.

TAMPA — Demar Dotson, who returned to the Bucs' roster this week after missing three months with a knee injury, said he was told Wednesday morning he won't be competing for the starting right tackle job, a week after he said Lovie Smith told him he would be in the mix.

"I was told last week that I'd be … back in the lineup, and I was told this morning I wasn't," Dotson said. "It was tough, especially because I was told I was (starting). They want to keep the continuity of the O-line and all that. It's hard to accept, but it's the nature of the business. You kind of want to rely on what somebody tells you, but you realize at the end of the day it's a business."

Smith, speaking in his daily news conference after practice, disagreed with Dotson's account of their conversation, saying he had never promised a starting position to him and wouldn't with any player.

"Demar Dotson was told last week that he would be active, that he would be ready to play this week," Smith said. "I don't give out starting positions a week in advance, so I don't know exactly where you got that. He was told he would be active."

The team signed veteran Gosder Cherilus in August after Dotson was injured, and Cherilus has played every snap at right tackle. Tampa Bay went through a similar situation last month at center, where Joe Hawley took over for Evan Smith after Smith's ankle injury and kept the starting job after Smith returned.

Dotson said the coach told him he could return to a starting role once healthy, so it was "disappointing" to have that change.

"It's a little tough to accept. I was preparing myself to come back and play," Dotson said. "All I know is what I was told today: 'You're not going to be the starting right tackle.' "

INJURY UPDATE: The Bucs returned to practice with four key players — WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DE Jacquies Smith (ankle), G Ali Marpet (ankle) and DB Alterraun Verner (foot) — sidelined as the team prepares for Sunday's home game against Dallas.

"We had a couple guys, a few more guys than normal, not practicing," Lovie Smith said, noting that DT Tony McDaniel was excused from practice as well.

Verner had been checked for a concussion during Sunday's loss to the Giants and was allowed to return to the game, but Smith said his absence was related to his foot, which "got a little sore, flared up a little bit after the game."

The Bucs put Evan Smith in at right guard after Marpet's injury Sunday, and he was working there again Wednesday, saying before practice that he'll prepare as if he's starting at right guard this week. Marpet said his injury won't require surgery, but he didn't know how quickly he'd be able to return.

The team finished Sunday's game without three injured safeties: Major Wright (hamstring) and D.J Swearinger (toe) were inactive, and Bradley McDougald left the game with a concussion. All three practiced in some capacity Wednesday.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has missed six games with a shoulder injury, practiced again as he has the past two weeks but is still a question mark for Sunday.

Dotson, Lovie Smith differ on promises made to returning Bucs tackle 11/11/15 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2015 5:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.