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Thursday Night Football Inactives: Bucs and Falcons missing key starters

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night Football’s inactives lists are in. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without running backs Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers tonight, as expected, and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald will also be inactives. That’s three starters down for the Bucs, who are expected to try to run the ball with a committee of backs, with Peyton Barber officially getting the start.

The Bucs will also be missing wide receiver Russell Shepard, who has not recovered from a hip injury in time for the game. Shepard was the team’s most productive receiver behind Mike Evans after Vincent Jackson went down, but the special teams ace will have to sit one out. Expect veteran Cecil Shorts to pick up most or all of Shepard’s playing time.

In better news, defensive end William Gholston is healthy enough to play, which should be a big boost for the Bucs’ run defense.

Those injuries don’t mean the Falcons will have an easy time against the Bucs, though, as Atlanta will be missing three key starters as well. Running back Tevin Coleman, defensive end Dwight Freeney and tight end Jacob Tamme have all been declared out for tonight’s game.

Buccaneers inactives: G Caleb Benenoch QB Ryan Griffin RB Doug Martin DT Clinton McDonald RB Jacquizz Rodgers WR Russell Shepard T Leonard Wester

Falcons inactives: S S. Neasman RB Tevin Coleman, CB C. Goodwin G, W. Schweitzer DT, Ra’shede Hageman, TE Jacob Tamme, DL Dwight Freeney