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Buccaneers vs. Bengals open thread 1

Here’s your first open thread for the Buccaneers and Bengals.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers football is almost back. The Bucs play the Cincinnati Bengals at 7:30 p.m. ET today in the team’s first preseason game of the year. Not quite real football, yet, but it’s good enough for now.

The Bucs will be without wide receiver Donteea Dye, cornerback Brent Grimes, cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, linebacker Adarius Glanton, center Ali Marpet, center Evan Smith, defensive end Jacquies Smith (PUP) and defensive end George Johnson tonight. Aside from Jacquies Smith and Jude Adjei-Barimah, those players are mostly suffering from minor injuries.

DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard will make their debuts for the Bucs tonight, but probably won’t be on the field too much given that it’s the first preseason game. Expect the backups to dominate the snap count for this game.

As always in the preseason, this game is more about the individual performances than the end-result and how the team does as a whole. Position battles are still being fought, and coaches aren’t putting in game-plans to try to defeat opponents as much as to see where they and their players are at.