December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Erik Lorig (41) runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Lorig Will Not Play Sunday Against the Jets, Rashaan Melvin Still A Possibility?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that three members of the team didn’t travel to New York with the rest of the players, and would therefore not be playing this weekend. The first two, Carl Nicks and Tom Crabtree, had already been ruled out. But the third player to not travel is certainly a bit of a disappointment.

Lorig had been dealing with an injury over the course of training camp and the preseason, but he was only listed as questionable during the week and did participate in practice.

The Buccaneers are a much better rushing team with a second running back in the backfield with Doug Martin, paving the way for the Boise State product to break off huge runs. So those duties will likely fall to Brian Leonard and tight end Nate Byham.

Leonard is certainly not the ideal fullback, but he’s got experience and wisdom as a veteran that could lead to a decent performance in a one game replacement setting. And Byham is an expert blocker as a tight end who could be moved around the formation to pave the way for Martin.

Missing from the “not traveling” list was rookie cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who apparently is going to be a game-time decision for the Bucs. The undrafted free agent pickup was impressive during camp, and will be a key depth player for the Buccaneers after the loss of Anthony Gaitor.

Melvin was dealing with a hamstring injury, and will hopefully be healthy enough to play this weekend and get his first taste of real NFL football.

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