TAMPA — Bucs starting right tackle Demar Dotson's injury suffered against the Vikings on Saturday was diagnosed as a sprained left knee, coach Lovie Smith said Sunday, suggesting the team's most tenured player could play again this season."He will be out for a period of time. We're in the evaluation process still with him," Smith said. The injury is not believed to be a tear, he said.The Bucs were working on other options to shore up the position, with veteran Gosder Cherilus, who started 29 games the past two years for the Colts, expected to visit One Buc Place today.Dotson had to be helped off the field after planting his leg awkwardly while blocking a pass-rusher late in the second quarter of the preseason opener at Minnesota.Smith declined to give specifics of an MRI exam Dotson had Sunday. Dotson would have an initial timetable of eight weeks for a healthy return, meaning he'd miss the first five regular-season games.Asked who will play right tackle in Dotson's absence, Smith first mentioned second-year pro Kevin Pamphile, who started at left tackle Saturday and is competing with rookie second-round draft pick Donovan Smith at the position. Another option is Patrick Omameh, who started every game at right guard last year but was moved to right tackle this spring."We'll look at all the tackles on our roster," the coach said. "When we have an injury, it's time for other guys to step up. That's what we'll do and see what the best combination will be right away."The Bucs already might start two rookies on the offensive line, Smith and right guard Ali Marpet. Using Pamphile, 24, who started two games in the final month of his rookie season, would leave the Bucs extremely inexperienced on the line.Omameh likely isn't the answer. When asked why Dotson was still in the game late in the second quarter, Lovie Smith said his priority was protecting quarterback Jameis Winston, which suggests Omameh or fellow backup Reid Fragel weren't seen as safe options.Cherilus, 31, appears to be a viable option. The 6-foot-7, 316-pound veteran, released by the Colts three weeks ago in a salary-cap move, has 100 NFL starts. His resume reads much like that of defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who signed with the Bucs last week after the Seahawks released him in a cap move. McDaniel had 29 starts the previous two seasons in Seattle. Contact Greg Auman at email@example.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman .