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)

Injuries force changes to interior of Bucs offensive line

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Joe Hawley (68) helped off the field after an injury during the second quarter of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Joe Hawley (68) helped off the field after an injury during the second quarter of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.

TAMPA — For all the Bucs' injuries this season, they've had the luxury of starting the same five offensive linemen in every game.

That will change Sunday.

Starting LG Kevin Pamphile has been ruled out with a concussion, and C Joe Hawley is doubtful with a knee injury that sidelined him for much of the Nov. 3 loss to the Falcons, testing the interior depth of the line.

Evan Smith, the Bucs' starting center in 2014 who also started five games at guard last season, will step in at center. At left guard, they'll likely turn to rookie Caleb Benenoch, a fifth-round pick who has been inactive for all eight games and would have a big role for his NFL debut.

"I think any player — not just Caleb but any player that's out there — whenever their opportunity comes up, it's just getting over the excitement and the nerves of, 'Hey, this is my first NFL game and I'm not standing on the sideline watching,' " coach Dirk Koetter said. "These guys have all played a lot of football, and Caleb, coming out of UCLA, played at a high level, played against good teams."

MORE INJURIES: The Bucs will wait until Sunday to decide on RB Doug Martin, who returned to practice this week and was elevated to full participation Friday but has yet to be cleared to play from the hamstring injury that has cost him the past six games.

"Doug did more every day this week, he increased a little bit more," Koetter said. "Officially, as we stand here right now, officially he's still not cleared. But there's still a chance. Again, the 48 hours — we'll see what happens there."

The Bucs will be without WR Russell Shepard (hip) and RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot), but should get DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) for the first time since Week 4, a key boost for the defensive line.

NOT YET: WR Josh Huff, signed Monday after he was waived by the Eagles last week after an arrest on gun and marijuana charges, will not be promoted to the active roster and will remain on the practice squad this weekend, Koetter said.

Injuries force changes to interior of Bucs offensive line 11/11/16 [Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2016 9:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  2. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blogs

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  3. The play occurred in the third inning when Angels rookie Nolan Fontana, making his major league debut, tried to slide past the tag of Rays second baseman Michael Martinez.
  4. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Daniel Robertson walks off the field after being left stranded at first base to end the game.