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Donovan Smith leaves Buccaneers game with knee injury

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The Bucs’ left tackle was replaced by Kevin Pamphile.

NFL: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in his pro career, Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith has missed snaps. Smith left the game against the New Orleans Saints with a knee injury, and was announced to be questionable to return.

Smith has been a very inconsistent player on the field, but has been really reliable in his availability--and he took some steps forward in the consistency of his play this season.

The Bucs have put left guard Kevin Pamphile at left tackle now, while Evan Smith is taking Pamphile’s place at guard. Smith and Pamphile had been sharing time at the left guard position this season anyway, for some unfathomable reason, so Smith should feel comfortable there. Whether Pamphile can handle the left tackle duties is another question entirely, though.

With this injury, Jameis Winston on the bench with a shoulder injury and the Bucs’ offense being largely unproductive anyway, it’s hard to see Tampa Bay winning this game. Hopefully, Smith’s injury will turn out to not be too serious, at least.