After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starters saw action for only a couple of drives in the preseason opener vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, it's unlikely they'll play any at all vs. the Tennessee Titans in the second preseason game this Saturday.
“No, I think looking at the two practices, I know how they will go physicality-wise," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said Monday. "We probably won’t play any starters.”
Tampa Bay is dealing with a number of injuries including safety Jordan Whitehead, backup center Donell Stanley, and rookie offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, as well as offensive lineman Sadarius Hutcherson who was placed on the injury reserve Monday.
Arians said Whitehead and Hainsey are still both "day-to-day" and addressed the depth situation for the offensive line specifically, going as far as sharing that the team might add someone to the roster for the upcoming preseason game.
“We’re going to work somebody out in the morning and hopefully find another fresh body that can play in this ball game," Arians said about the offensive line depth situation. "I really don’t want to put starters back in or put them in at all if I don’t have to. The offensive line might play in this game if only by necessity and we’ll see how that goes.”
While it's unlikely any starters will play vs. the Titans, Arians said the group will play a good portion of the final preseason game on the road against the Houston Texans on Aug. 28.
Otherwise, nearly two weeks would have passed from the last time the starters played to the regular-season opener vs. the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 2, Arians explained.
"My plan is to play [the starters] a significant amount in that ballgame because we don't play for two weeks after," Arians said. "I know our guys don't want to hit each other for 10 days so we'll probably more [starters] in that game, more than any."
The Bucs will host Tennessee for two joint practices on Tuesday and Thursday prior to the two teams meeting for a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday.
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