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Buccaneers running Jacquizz Rodgers into the ground early

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Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are missing their top two running backs today, but that’s not stopping them from running the ball. Jacquizz Rodgers has a whopping 13 carries for 62 yards after one quarter, as the Bucs lead 3-0.

The Bucs are without Doug Martin and Charles Sims, the latter having been placed on injured reserve today, leaving them with few options at running back. The only healthy options behind Rodgers are now two undrafted rookies: Peyton Barber and Russell Hansbrough.

That’s not stopping the Bucs from just running Rodgers over and over again, and maybe with good reason: Jameis Winston has completed four of five passes for 34 yards so far, which is okay, but also missed Mike Evans deep on a play negated by an offside penalty, and suffered a nearly disastrous sack after a bust in pass protection.

Still, Tampa Bay is up 3-0, which is a better start to a game than they’ve had all year long.