Tampa Bay offensive line problems could cost them against the Green Bay Packers

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans was suspended today for his third week of work after participating in a field battle against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. Besides losing Evans, who is appealing his suspension, the Buccaneers could also be outside recipients Julio Jones and Chris Goodwin, who did not wear a Saints suit due to injury, in their Week 3 game with the Green Bay Packers.

In addition to their reception room, there’s another reason to check out Tampa’s injury report throughout the week: the offensive line unit. This summer, the team lost starting center Ryan Jensen and potential starter Aaron Steni due to knee injuries that put both hooks on the injured reserve. Left Donovan Smith interfered with extending his elbow in Week 1 and had to miss Week 2.

These cluster infections may already have affected Packers’ list decisions already, such as Tom Silverstein from Milwaukee Journal CentenaryI tweeted Last week, the promotion of Caleb Jones from Green Bay coaching team to his roster of 53 players could have been caused by offensive line problems in Baltimore and Tampa. They took no chances,” Silverstein said. Jones is one of 11 offensive linemen currently on the Packers list. Jones was inactive in the second week against the Chicago Bears.

Regardless of the Pirates’ favorite losing start, left-back substitute Josh Wells, at Smith v the Saints, fell with a calf injury that forced Brandon Walton into action. By the end of the game, Tampa’s offensive line (left to right) was Walton, Luke Guedick, Robert Hennessy, Chuck Mason and Tristan Wirves.

While the Mason and Wirfs are starter favorites, the Wirfs have dealt with “frustrating” ankle and tilt problems this season. However, the biggest question marks on the offensive line are on the left side. Wells started just 18 games over his eight years in the NFL, including this past weekend. Wales’ replacement, Walton, has not started the NFL game since joining the league as an uncredited rookie in 2020. Goedeke, the second-round rookie, is set to make his third start in his NFL career on Sunday. Hainsey, a 2022 third-round pick, did not start a single junior season game and was only named after Jensen’s injury this summer.

The wide receiving position may have the illustrious names of Evans, Jones and Goodwin to keep all week, but Tampa’s offensive line, given the number of injured and inexperienced players on their roster, could be just as important. Given how well Rashaan Gary, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith have played for the Packers so far this season, a poor showdown up front may be what ultimately swings the game in Green Bay’s favour. This game’s point spread originally opened with the Buccaneers being a 3-point favorite, but it’s already down by half a point since Sunday night.


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