The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed five players on injured reserve, and they still won’t be able to play every one on their 53-man roster on Sunday. The Bucs have ruled out defensive end Robert Ayers and wide receiver DeSean Jackson for the game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Bucs will replace Jackson with rookie Chris Godwin, who’s performed impressively when he got a chance. Mostly, though, Mike Evans can expect to see more and better targets now—whether that works out remains to be seen. As for Ayers, the Bucs haven’t been able to manufacture a pass rush with or without him, so his absence shouldn’t be too devastating.
The Bucs will likely get Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David back on the field, as both are listed as questionable and were able to participate (albeit in a limited fashion) all week. That should boost their defense, which struggled heavily last Monday, especially against the run.
As for the Panthers, they ruled out guard Trai Turner with a concussion and are otherwise mostly healthy.