The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for something - anything - to give their offense a jolt and under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football they will see wide receiver Julio Jones return. Jones has played in just two games this season - week one against the Dallas Cowboys and week four against the Kansas City Chiefs - as he’s dealt with a lingering knee injury. The addition comes while the Bucs will be without wide receiver Russell Gage, who won’t play due to a hamstring injury.
There also won’t be a “guard by committee” this week as guard Luke Goedeke is out, opening the door for Nick Leverett to get all the reps in-between Robert Hainsey and Donovan Smith this week. Leverett alternated quarters last week against the Carolina Panthers and appears to be in line to take the starting job away from Goedeke.
However, even with a potential jolt to the offense, the Bucs are still missing a lot of key players in their secondary. Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Antoine Winfield Jr. are all inactive with injuries while Logan Ryan is still recovering from foot surgery.
The Bucs appear to be on the cusp of getting defensive tackle Akiem Hicks back from his foot injury, but it won’t be this week. Despite being listed as a limited participant in practice all week, Hicks is out for tonight. That means he should be able to make his return next week after the mini bye weekend that comes with playing on Thursday.
For the Ravens, there were questions surrounding tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Rashod Bateman but both will be suited up and playing tonight. However, they will be without defensive tackle Calais Campbell who is sitting out with an illness.
In his return to the NFL and to the city of Tampa, DeSean Jackson is going to make his season debut for the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson can still blow past opposing defenders and with the secondary for Tampa decimated, look for Jackson to get a look or two down the field for some potential explosive plays.
The Bucs have signed safety Nolan Turner from their practice squad to the active roster to provide some depth at safety and have called up practice squad players Don Gardner and J.J. Russell for tonight’s contest given the injuries at cornerback and having just put linebacker K.J. Britt on injured reserve.
Here are the full lists of inactive players for the Bucs and Ravens ahead of Thursday Night Football;
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
CB - Carlton Davis
CB - Sean Murphy-Bunting
TE - Cam Brate
G - Luke Goedeke
S - Antoine Winfield Jr.
DL - Akiem Hicks
WR - Russell Gage
DT - Calais Campbell
G - Ben Cleveland
WR - Tylan Wallace
RB - Mike Davis
LB - Josh Bynes
CB - Jalyn Armour-Davis
The Bucs and Ravens will kickoff in Raymond James Stadium at 8:15 p.m. ET. The game will be on Amazon Prime as well as Tampa’a FOX 13 with Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit, and Kaylee Hartung on the call.