The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will miss center Evan Smith for three weeks with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport. The veteran center suffered an MCL sprain against the Chicago Bears, and won’t be available for a crucial part of the team’s schedule.
That’s obviously disappointing, especially given the team’s other injuries along the offensive line. Smith was starting because Joe Hawley could not play, though he’s expected to be back this week. At left guard, Kevin Pamphile was out with a concussion, forcing rookie Caleb Benenoch into action.
So when Smith left the game, the Bucs were forced to turn to newly-promoted Ben Gottschalk, giving the team a very inexperienced middle of the offensive line with several miscues as the predictable result.
The Bucs hope to have Hawley and Pamphile back this week, which would at least limit the problems caused by Smith’s absence, but this is yet another blow to the team’s depth.