The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to beat the Cincinnati Bengals without the aid of four starters: center Evan Dietrich-Smith, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.
Garrett Gilkey will step in at center, while Akeem Spence will take over at defensive tackle, but both of them represent significant downgrades at crucial positions. Dietrich-Smith's absence is especially likely to create massive problems for an already-horrible offensive line.
Lavonte David's absence did not turn out to be as big of a problem as was expected last week, although the run defense did take a step back. Danny Lansanah will once again take his spot on the weak side, while Orie Lemon will suit up at strong-side linebacker.
Seferian-Jenkins, Stocker and Myers will be missed, especially with fullback Jorvorskie Lane going on injured reserve last week. The Bucs will have to go with undrafted rookie Cameron Brate and veteran D.J. Williams at tight end. Both of those players were added to the roster this week, but they're now expected to be a big part of the offense. That probably means we'll see a lot more spread looks, including receiver Robert Herron.
As for the Bengals, they'll be missing their own star weak-side linebacker in Vontaze Burfict, as well as raw-but-talented second-year defensive end Margus Hunt. They also lost starting right tackle Andre Smith, who was placed on injured reserve this week.
Buccaneers inactives: C Evan Dietrich-Smith, TE Luke Stocker, TE Brandon Myers, CB Crezdon Butler, LB Lavonte David, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DT Clinton McDonald.
Bengals inactives: DE Margus Hunt, LB Vontaze Burfict, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, RB Rex Burkhead, T Tanner Hawkinson, WR Greg Little, T Jamon Meredith.