The Houston Teams will have to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without left tackle Duane Brown and running back Arian Foster, whose absences have been a major factor in the team's 0-2 start. With right tackle Jeff Adams on injured reserve, the Texans have to heavily shuffle their offensive line, but they did not announce a replacement starter for him. In better news for Houston and bad news for the Bucs, DeAndre Hopkins has been cleared to play and should play a big role on offense.
The Bucs will be without tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who suffered a four-to-six-week injury last game. They have no adequate replacement for him, with pure blocker Luke Stocker officially replacing him in the starting lineup. Veteran Joe Hawley will get the start for Evan Smith. Hawley's a serviceable starter who struggled in the run game last week, but shouldn't represent a massive downgrade given that Smith is pretty average himself.
In better news, Mike Evans is active, hasn't missed a practice this week and should play a big role on offense -- presumably catching his first pass from Jameis Winston this week. Or at least his first catch that's counted by the refs. None of the starters who were listed as questionable are inactive for the Bucs, including Gerald McCoy and D.J. Swearinger -- though Chris Conte will once again get the start over Swearinger. As was speculated on Friday based on practice lineups, Tim Jennings will start over Alterraun Verner at cornerback.
Buccaneers inactives: QB Ryan Griffin, RB Mike James, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, S Major Wright, C Evan Smith, WR Adam Humphries, G Matthew Masifilo
Texans inactives: RB Arian Foster, T Duane Brown, WR Jaelen Strong, G Xavier Sua-Filo, S Lonnie Ballentine, LB Mike Hohamed.