The Bucs have a potentially favorable wrinkle in their season opener at the Dolphins -- five weeks from today -- as Miami is signing former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler as a replacement for Ryan Tannehill, lost to a knee injury in practice this week.
Tampa Bay knows Cutler well -- he came to Raymond James Stadium last season with Chicago and struggled, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble in a 36-10 loss that marked the Bucs' easiest win in a 9-7 season. Bucs safety Chris Conte, facing his old team, picked off a Cutler pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to get things started for Tampa Bay.
Cutler, who had moved on and started a career in the broadcast booth with Fox, is 34, but as recently as 2014, had 28 touchdowns in a season with the Bears. How quickly he can get himself ready to continue as a starting NFL quarterback remains to be seen, but what was a tough opener on the road against a 2016 playoff team might be a little easier for the Bucs to open their 2017 season.
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