Playoff Lenny is ready to roll today against the Los Angeles Rams and the Bucs will look to him in both the running and passing games against this very tough Rams defense. On top of that, wide receiver John Brown could make his debut for the Bucs after being promoted from the practice squad on Saturday.
The big question marks all week long have been center Ryan Jensen and right tackle Tristan Wirfs after both suffered ankle injuries against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Jensen was the more likely of the two to play, but Wirfs did practice on Friday giving some hope to Bucs fans that their All-Pro tackle would be out there to protect Tom Brady.
Wirfs, however, is not healthy enough to go and will be inactive today. That leaves Josh Wells - or perhaps, if that goes south, a combination of Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie - left to stop Leonard Floyd or Von Miller from flattening Brady. Stinnie played really well through the postseason last year, but this is a tall task for a player like Wells who is also dealing with an injury and didn’t play exceptionally well last week against the Eagles.
And unlike the first meeting, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting will play meaning the Bucs will have all three of their starting corners on the field against the likes of Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., and Van Jefferson.
For the Rams, they have tackle issues of their own. Andrew Whitworth is inactive due to injury and with the duo of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul going up against an injured Rams line, the Bucs will look to get pressure on Matthew Stafford early and often. In their first meeting this season, JPP did not play due to that shoulder injury. Now, with the rotation that will also include a much improved Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, the loss of Whitworth may be felt heavily by this Rams offense.
The Rams will also have to rely on Eric Weddle at the safety position with the loss of Taylor Rapp. Weddle played his first game in two years last week so that’s a spot where Brady might look to expose the rust of the Rams’ secondary and take his shot deep for a big play.
Here are the full lists of inactive players ahead of the Bucs and Rams’ Divisional Round matchup;
QB - Kyle Trask
WR - Breshad Perriman
OT - Tristan Wirfs
QB - Ryan Griffin
WR - Cyril Grayson
RB - Ronald Jones
CB - Pierre Desir
Los Angeles Rams:
S - Taylor Rapp
OT - Andrew Whitworth
QB - Bryce Perkins
RB - Buddy Howell
LB - Terrell Lewis
LB - Chris Garrett
OL - Tremayne Anchrum
The Bucs and Rams will kickoff in Raymond James Stadium at 3:00 p.m. ET with the broadcast on NBC and streaming on PeacockTV. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michelle Tafoya will be on the call.