The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints face off today. The New Orleans Saints will miss tight end Jimmy Graham and linebacker David Hawthorne, two players who would normally be starting. The loss of Graham is especially devastating, as the tight end is a matchup nightmare. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma returns from suspension and will play against the Bucs. In addition, running back Chris Ivory will miss today's game. Ivory has routinely torn up the Bucs' defense in previous years.
For the Buccaneers, no players will miss the game due to injury today. Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks will both play with minor injuries. Interestingly, recently promoted cornerback Lequan Lewis will take the field today, while cornerback/safety Keith Tandy is once again inactive. In fact, all of the Bucs' late-round draft picks are once again inactive: Michael Smith, Keith Tandy and Najee Goode will not play today. Those three players have combined for four games played this season, seeing action exclusively on special teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Michael Smith, DB Keith Tandy, LB Jacob Cutrera, LB Najee Goode, S Cody Wallace, WR Chris Owusu and TE Danny Noble.
New Orleans Saints: TE Jimmy Graham, RB Chris Ivory, CB Elbert Mack, LB David Hawthorne, DT Tyrunn Walker, T Bryce Harris, DE Turk McBride.