The Bucs are preparing to face the New York Giants Sunday without linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander.
Defensive coordinator Mike Smith said rookie Kendell Beckwith, a third-round pick from LSU, would be given the helmet transmitter and responsible for calling the defense.
David began the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings Sunday with the helmet transmitter until he suffered an ankle injury. From that point on, Beckwith called the defense.
Alexander started the season opener against the Chicago Bears but did not finish the game after aggravating a hamstring injury and did not play against the Vikings.
Smith said Wednesday they will have to expand the role played by Beckwith at middle linebacker.
"I thought the young linebacker (Beckwith) played well,'' Smith said . He's seeing things for the first time. They may get him the first time, but when they do it again, he's been in the right place. He's been very impressive and he's going to be the guy we're going to count on for this week. He's got a bigger role potentially. He's got to have the communicator and he'll have the entire game and that communication is going to be paramount with the no huddle we're anticipating seeing from the Giants.''
The Bucs played last Sunday's game without three starters – defensive tackle Chris Baker, Alexander and cornerback Brent Grimes. During the game, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, David, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and defensive end Noah Spence all left the game with injuries. Spence separated his right shoulder but finished the game.
It's uncertain which players may be available against the Giants.
"When you've got all your pieces, you're worried about who are going to put on their pieces,'' Smith said. "Now it's just a little different situation. We're concerned a level below that. Who are we going to put out there? We don't know that.
"You might have to change what you're doing in terms of how you're calling the game,'' Smith said. "I probably didn't adjust well enough to that in that manner. Of course, you always miss guys but I can't worry about that. Nobody in this league, there's 31 other teams, they don't give a rat's (behind) about what's happening in Tampa. They just want to beat our butt when they play us and we're doing the same thing.''
Sign up for Bucs Red Zone
A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.
Sign up for our other newsletters