The Bucs are pretty banged up as of late, but as Byron Leftwich has stated before, they preach the ‘next man up’ mentality. They were without Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette last week, and they just added O.J. Howard to the IR which was another huge blow to the Bucs offense.
With Godwin out in weeks two and four, the Bucs offense needed to lean on other players to step up like Justin Watson and Scotty Miller. Now with Watson out, there’s even more dependency on Miller, Evans and the remaining tight ends.
McCoy is also out, so the young rookie out of Vanderbilt, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, needs to step up and improve on his first NFL career touchdown last week.
Scotty Miller (Hip/Groin) and Mike Evans (ankle) showed up on this week’s injury report which gave Bucs Nation a real scare as they closed in on game time. Evans hasn’t participated in any practices this week, but Miller was limited on Wednesday and will be a go. Evans is expected to play, but not sure to what capacity.
Here is the full inactive lists for each team:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR - Chris Godwin (hamstring)
RB - LeSean McCoy (ankle)
WR - Justin Watson (chest)
WR - Josh Pearson
G - Aaron Stinnie
DL - Khalil Davis
QB - Ryan Griffin
DB - Deon Bush (hamstring)
DB - Sherrick McManis (hamstring)
OLB - Trevis Gipson
WR - Riley Ridley
LG - Arlington Hambright
NT - Daniel McCullers
Surprisingly, the Bears are one of the few teams that are actually quite healthy. No inactives listed on their starting offense. Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis being out impact their depth in the secondary.
The Bucs will need to take full advantage down field, but the offensive line still needs to contend with a really strong and hungry Bears defensive line.
The Bears had Khalil Mack on the injury report since week 1, but that’s been by design to keep him healthy heading into each contest. He’s been limited in practice, but still plans to suit up against the Bucs tonight.
The Bucs and Bears kick off in prime time on Thursday Night Football at 8:20 PM EDT on NFL Network, FOX and streaming on Amazon.