For the second straight week DT Frank Okam will be inactive with a calf injury for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, opening the way for Albert Haynesworth to start. Haynesworth is being given a lot of responsibility in his first game with his new team, and the Bucs must get a good game out of the big man to succeed today.
In addition, Dekoda Watson will not play because of an injury. Watson has not been on the field much in recent weeks as his threat as a pass-rusher has largely disappeared. Ohter notable inactives are CB Anthony Gaitor, WR Micheal Spurlock and DE Tim Crowder. Jeremy Zuttah is back in the starting lineup, while Myron Lewis and Sammie Stroughter are active for the first time in weeks as well.
For the Texans, Andre Johnson is the most significant inactive as the star wide receiver has struggled with a hamstring injury for weeks. That will hurt the Texans' passing game, although their run game will continue to be strong, in part because T Eric Winston is active despite struggling with an injury during the week. S Danieal Manning is also inactive, leaving the Texans a little vulnerable in the back end in the passing game.
For the Bucs, Gaitor has played over Myron Lewis in recent weeks although he hasn't been on the field much. With Watson inactive the Bucs may want Lewis on the field because of his special teams impact, an area of the game where Gaitor doesn't add much.Crowder is now inactive for the third straight game, and I would think his time with the Bucs is quickly coming to an end.
Spurlock has been on the field for a handful of plays on the season and hasn't been able to add anything. He's usually active as the emergency QB, but using him only as an emergency QB when he's actually a receiver seems like a waste of a roster spot. I doubt he will be on the roster for much longer. His being inactive does mean that Sammie Stroughter is back on the field, however.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Anthony Gaitor, LB Dekoda Watson, G Derek Hardman, T James Lee, WR Micheal Spurlock, DE Tim Crowder, DT Frank Okam.
Houston Texans: WR Andre Johnson, QB T.J. Yates, CB Sherrick McManis, S Danieal Manning, G Thomas Austin, T Andrew Gardner, TE Garrett Graham