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Buccaneers rule out six players for Packers game

The Bucs need to replace five starters on Sunday.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have ruled out six players for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, including five starters.

Most notably, running back Doug Martin will miss the game with a concussion. Not that Martin had been especially productive this season, but he is clearly the Bucs’ best running back.

The other four starters who aren’t playing are defensive end Robert Ayers, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and safety T.J. Ward. To be fair, the latter three are part-time starters at best—but the Bucs don’t have quality replacements for any of them. Also, special teamer Josh Robinson will miss the game.

Making things a little worse, the Bucs will also be without starting center Ali Marpet and starting offensive tackle Demar Dotson, as both of them were placed on injured reserve this week. The Bucs are not having a lot of luck with injuries this week.

In slightly better news, left guard Evan Smith is likely to play on Sunday, as is wide receiver DeSean Jackson. They were both struggling with some injuries. And, of course, Jameis Winston has been cleared to play and will start. So there’s that.

As for the Green Bay Packers, they ruled out cornerback Kevin King and running back Ty Montgomery, but should otherwise be healthy for the game.