The NFL preseason has not been kind to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they’ve lost two matchups in the comfy confines of Raymond James Stadium.
Coming off a 34-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Buccaneers are looking to close out the preseason on a high note with a win in Houston Saturday.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians told the media earlier this week that Tom Brady and most starters will play the first half of the preseason finale versus the Houston Texans. Tonight will mark the most work they’ve had all preseason; Brady and the first team got very few snaps in the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and did not play Week 2.
This battle is more about the bubble players than anyone, and the second half of the battle will be the key to their survival in Tampa Bay. Arians and his staff will get a good, hard look at who can best solidify their roster when the final cuts deadline rolls around Tuesday at 4 p.m. eastern.
For this contest, the Bucs will be without defensive end Ndamukong Suh, offensive linemen Nick Leverett and Earl Watford, and kicker Ryan Succop. All three players are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Look for Patrick O’Connor and Khalil Davis to get the majority of reps in Suh’s place. Rookie Jose Borregales will start for Succop.
There’s a week and a half (sigh) between tonight’s preseason finale and the matchup against the Dallas Cowboys to kick off the 2021 NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 9.