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Four Buccaneers now on COVID-19 list

Starting defensive lineman didn’t travel to Houston with team

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Turns out Ryan Succop was just the beginning of Tampa Bay Buccaneers players headed to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Early Saturday afternoon it was unveiled star defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was also placed on the list, and did not travel with the team to face the Houston Texans.

The report from Greg Auman of The Athletic was later confirmed by Jenna Laine of ESPN.

Suh’s addition now means the team will hold their final dress rehearsal for their 2021 campaign without their starting defensive lineman, kicker, and two reliable members of their offensive line rotation.

Succop was the first to land on the list after having dinner with former Titans team members following joint practices with his former team.

Then, veteran offensive lineman, Earl Watford landed on the list the same day younger line member Nick Leverett also ended up in COVID protocols.

What is supposed to be the most complete look at the main Bucs contributors for 2021 is now more a lesson in what could happen related to the ongoing procedures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good news for Tampa Bay of course is that all of the four players on the list have plenty of time to complete protocol requirements and return to the team before their September 9th opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

In place of Suh, Auman later speculated on Twitter Rakeem Nunez-Roches, commonly referred to as ‘nacho’ would likely get the start. Nacho joining William Gholston and Vita Vea on the defensive line as a starter means Steve McLendon and Patrick O’Connor are likely to have an increase in playing time as well.

If one player is going to see a silver lining to this news it’s young defensive lineman Khalil Davis, who will now get more opportunities Saturday night to show Todd Bowles he has to keep him on the active roster.