TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 4: Linebacker Geno Hayes #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles running back Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers December 4, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have announced the inactives for today's game. As expected, running back Jonathan Stewart is inactive for the Panthers. That's their most significant inactive player, too, as they have just two other running backs in Mike Tolbert and Deangelo Williams. Those players are no slouches, but this hurts their depth. Linebacker Jon Beason and wide receiver Steve Smith are active, as expected.
The Bucs have a lot of surprising inactives, though. Receiver Arrelious Benn and cornerbacks E.J. Biggers and Anthony Gaitor are all out due to injury, but the Bucs have deactivated a number of other relevant players. Most notably, Myron Lewis is inactive despite the fact that he looked like the likely nickel cornerback. Instead, with Biggers and Gaitor out, rookies Leonard Johnson and Keith Tandy should take up that role, and recent pick-up Brandon McDonald could pitch in too. T Jamon Meredith is inactive too, in a surprising move, as the versatile offensive lineman can play both tackle and guard and the Bucs lack depth along the line.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Arrelious Benn, CB E.J. Biggers, CB Anthony Gaitor, CB Myron Lewis, LB Najee Goode, T Jamon Meredith, DE Wallace Gilberry.