When reviewing PFF's data for yesterday's game against the Bills, something jumped out at me: the only offensive linemen to play all 68 snaps were Donald Penn, Jamon Meredith and Demar Dotson. Jeremy Zuttah we know missed the fourth quarter with an injury, but what happened to Davin Joseph?
More curiously, even with the injury, Jeremy Zuttah still played 53 snaps yesterday, or 51 out of 66 snaps according to the official statistics.
Joseph? Just 44 according to PFF, and 43 officially.
I pulled up the game tape and flicked through the start of every offensive snap, and saw something I completely missed yesterday: when the Bucs offense first took the field in the third quarter, Ted Larsen was playing at right guard.
I wondered, at first, if it was a case of Joseph being hurt, and at half time the trainers may have advised that he not be put back on; but when Zuttah went down, and Larsen moved over from right guard to center, then Joseph was put back in. At the beginning of that fourth quarter, the game was already 27-6, which ended up being the final score. The result was pretty much certain - if Joseph had been dinged up, why put him back into a practically meaningless fourth quarter and risk further injury, especially when Gabe Carimi was active and could have been put in?
It's long been clear that Joseph is a mere shadow of the player he once was, and even as recently as last week was still making mistakes. Due to make $6 million in 2014, and a further $21.5 million between 2015 and 2017, it seemed unlikely that Joseph would be brought back at his current contract, especially as he already received all the guaranteed money in his contract, meaning there'd be no cap hit for cutting him.
There may, of course, be other reasons why Joseph was not on the field for the entirety of the third quarter. Most of those reasons are nullified by the fact that Joseph appeared to be healthy enough to be put back in for the fourth quarter when Zuttah went down.
By all appearances, Davin Joseph, two-time Pro Bowler and offensive captain for the Buccaneers, was a healthy benching at half time yesterday.
But on the bright side - I guess this coaching staff can make some half time adjustments.