The Bucs received some good news on Thursday regarding the three specialists placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list, but that news was quickly forgotten once the team announced it placed Donovan Smith on the same list Friday morning.
Smith now joins Ronald Jones II in quarantine (not together, obviously). Both players will miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The sixth-year left tackle issued his own statement through the team on Friday. Per Smith, he had close contact with a family member who recently tested positive for COVID and that will be the cause of his absence this week.
Statement from T Donovan Smith: pic.twitter.com/abdASlTOC6— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 18, 2020
Josh Wells is expected to take over at left tackle. He was solid in Smith’s place last year against the Detroit Lions, but 2020 is obviously a different year and the Falcons are obviously a different team.
Atlanta currently has 33 sacks on the year —which is tied for the 10th-most— and has allowed the sixth-lowest adjusted line yards mark, per Football Outsiders. Head coach Raheem Morris also likes to blitz opponents and does a good job of disguising said blitzes, so the rest of the Bucs’ offensive line will need to be ready to go this week.