The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to be a little inventive to solve their offensive line problems this week. Not only has starting right tackle Demar Dotson been ruled out with a concussion for Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, but backup right tackle Gosder Cherilus is also out with a groin injury.
That leaves the Bucs with a massive hole at right tackle, and two unappetizing options to fill it. Either they move left guard Kevin Pamphile, who is also a swing tackle, to right tackle, or they start the highly inexperienced Leonard Wester at right tackle.
The advantage of the first option is that they can put veteran starter Evan Smith at left guard, and have a full complement of experienced starter, albeit with some of them playing out of position. The advantage of the second option is that there’s more continuity. Knowing the NFL, the Bucs are likely to go with Wester.
The team will also have to find a way to deal with defensive end William Gholston’s absence. He’s mourning his father’s passing, but is missing the game mostly because of a dislocated elbow.
As for the New Orleans Saints, they’re a little healthier. The only player they’ve ruled out is cornerback Delvin Breaux, and no one else is likely to miss the game. Of course, Breaux’s absence is still significant: he’s easily the Saints’ best cornerback (perhaps their only good one), and this means Mike Evans could have a big day tomorrow.