Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
Tampa Bay Bucs v San Francisco 49ers
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Chef Mayfield’s week 12 opponent will be the Indianapolis Colts. 

The Indianapolis Colts will host Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Bucs this Sunday. The Bucs are 4-6 entering an “easy” stretch in their schedule. As the weeks pass and the losses pile up, the injury report has expanded like waistlines on Thanksgiving.

Tampa Bay played a physical football team last Sunday and the effects will still be felt a week later. Against the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs were banged up— To say the least— with Jamel Dean, Lavonte David, and Tristan Wirfs among the walking wounded. Tristan Wirfs’ injury does not seem to be anything serious (He was able to return to the game last week), but a full week later not all the wounded Bucs are as lucky. Tampa’s recently paid, up-and-down starting cornerback, Jamel Dean has been ruled out. Last week, Dean sustained a foot/ankle injury while failing to cover Brandon Aiyuk on his 76 yard touchdown reception. Dean’s season hasn’t been the type of year most Bucs fans were hoping for, after the team locked him up with a long term deal last offseason. No matter his level of play, Dean’s absence will put immense strain on the team’s depth.

That depth will be stressed even more because Tampa’s other starting corner— Carlton Davis— is also on the team’s injury report. Davis (hip) will be a gametime decision. Surviving injuries to both starting cornerbacks will be a sincerely difficult task for Todd Bowles. The challenges for Bowles’ defense don’t stop in the defensive backfield though.

NFL: Tampa Bay Bucs at San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Bucs will also need to play defense without Lavonte David. No Bucs fans needs a lecture on how crucial David’s role is each week for the Bucs. Similarly to the situation Tampa’s facing with their cornerbacks, a double dose of injuries have struck the Bucs’ linebackers as well. Lavonte David (groin) has already been ruled out, Devin White is also questionable. Dealing with a foot injury, White (like Davis) will be a gametime decision. Even ignoring any other injuries, those four alone, could do terminal damage.

Baker Mayfield and the Bucs are entering the point in their schedule where they need to hit their stride. Tampa Bay’s offense has scored over 70 points in the team’s last three games. With injuries riddling the Bucs’ defense, Chef Mayfield and Tampa Bay’s offense will need to shoulder the load in Indianapolis to keep Tampa alive in the playoff race.

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By admin