The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will mis four starters today, as expected: quarterback Jameis Winston (shoulder), defensive end Robert Ayers (concussion), left guard Evan Smith (concussion) and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) are all out with injuries.
The Bucs will play Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback for the third straight game. He did a decent job the past two games, though Fitzpatrick is so erratic that it’s hard to count on him. Darryl Tapp will start for Ayers, while Kevin Pamphile will play a full game at left guard instead of rotating with Evan Smith. Ryan Smith will get most of Hargreaves’ playing time, as he did last week.
The Bucs are also keeping tight end Luke Stocker for a second consecutive game. Apparently they’re comfortable with rookie O.J. Howard taking on most of the blocking tight end duties, and Antony Auclair getting a little bit of playing time.
As for the Atlanta Falcons, they’ll be without running back Devonta Freeman, who’d already been ruled out. That’s their only significant injury, really, though obviously it does hurt them.
Buccaneers inactives: DE Robert Ayers, CB Vernon Hargreaves, DT Sealver Siliga, G Evan Smith, TE Luke Stocker, T Leonard Wester, QB Jameis Winston
Falcons inactives: WR Nick Williams , WR Marvin Hall, RB Devonta Freeman, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, LB Sean Weatherspoon, G Sean Harlow, OT Tyler Sambrailo