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Bucs torn on whether bye week comes at the right time

An ugly loss leaves a sour taste, and several players would like to get back on the field immediately to right the ship.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) makes a touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. [ALASTAIR GRANT | AP]
Published Oct. 14

LONDON — The immaculate home football locker room at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium cleared out quickly following the Bucs’ 37-26 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Bucs boarded a plane across the Atlantic and into their bye week, awarded after an international game so that players, coaches and staff can get re-acclimated to the time change and beat jet lag.

After committing seven turnovers Sunday in unquestionably the Bucs’ ugliest game of the season, some players would prefer to play this weekend to correct the mistakes and move on.

“It always sucks going into a bye week because we can’t play for 14 days,” said center Ryan Jensen. “This one will definitely stick with us, especially on a long 7 1/2 hour flight back. It’s good to go into the bye week and get healthy and get feeling better, but definitely ready to get this taste out of our mouth.”

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After returning to Tampa on Monday morning, Bucs players broke down game tape of Sunday’s loss, then get the next seven days off. They won’t regroup until next Tuesday.

The bye week comes in the middle of the team’s six-week road stretch away from Raymond James Stadium. With trips to Los Angeles and London out of the way, the Bucs must still travel to Nashville and make a second cross-country trip to Seattle before their next home game Nov. 10.

“Rest,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “We’ve got long trips. We’re going to have two more, and we’ve got plenty of time to get ready for Nashville.”

Dating to 2008, the Bucs are only 5-5 coming off their bye week, not including the 2017 season when they had to switch to a Week 1 bye in Miami due to a hurricane.

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves said he has mixed feeling about receiving the bye week now.

“It’s a double-edged sword, you know. We’re going to enjoy the rest. Everybody’s ready to get after it. but I think everybody is ready to get away for a bit, get some fresh air and then come back and finish the season strong."

This year’s Bucs are the sixth in team history to open the season 2-4, and for the fourth time since 2012. Each of the previous five teams finished with losing records.

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