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Bucs offensive line declines late vs. Falcons

Bucs tackle Demar Dotson (69) left with a neck injury toward the end of Sunday's game against Atlanta. The Falcons had three sacks after he departed. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Bucs tackle Demar Dotson (69) left with a neck injury toward the end of Sunday's game against Atlanta. The Falcons had three sacks after he departed. DIRK SHADD | Times
Published Nov. 11, 2014

Playing without starting LT Anthony Collins, the Bucs didn't give up a sack until the final eight minutes of Sunday's loss to Atlanta, but three came in the final four minutes, after RT Demar Dotson left with a neck injury on a sack and rookie Kevin Pamphile replaced him.

"We have a few players nursing some injuries," coach Lovie Smith said Monday after his team lost a fourth-quarter lead for the fifth time this season. "(QB) Josh McCown is a little sore with his back, Demar Dotson has a sore neck. … Beyond that there was nothing serious that came out of the game."

Pamphile, a sixth-round pick from Purdue, was inactive for the first seven games and played two series at left tackle at Cleveland before playing 28 snaps Sunday — 14 each at left and right tackle. The Bucs have handled Collins' absence well with veteran Oniel Cousins at left tackle the last two games, but losing Dotson would test to the line's depth.

Smith said he isn't sure whether four key players who missed out with injuries — CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring), DE Michael Johnson (hand), Collins (foot) and RB Doug Martin (ankle) — would return for Sunday's game at Washington.

This and that: The announced attendance Sunday was 57,751, but the actual attendance, per the Tampa Sports Authority, was 46,475, up 149 from the actual crowd for Bucs-Vikings two weeks earlier. … With the Bears giving up 55 points to the Packers on Sunday, the Bucs are no longer the NFL's worst scoring defense. They're 31st at 30.2 points allowed per game, Chicago is at 30.8. … Bucs K Patrick Murray has four field goals of 50 yards or longer. Only three times in Bucs history has a kicker had more: Martin Gramatica had five in 2000 and '02, and Connor Barth had six in 2012.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman.

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