The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons as the healthier team, but with some lingering concerns of their own.
Here are the reports for both teams, starting with the Bucs. (Information obtained from the Buccaneers’ official website.)
|CB Michael Adams||Knee||Questionable|
|DE Da’Quan Bowers||Toe||Questionable|
|RB Jeff Demps||Groin||Out|
|G Davin Joseph||Knee||Probable|
|G Carl Nicks||Foot||Out|
|WR Mike Williams||Hamstring||Questionable|
|C Jeremy Zuttah||Groin||Probable|
If Williams is unable to go, it will downgrade the Tampa Bay offense considerably. No other receiver on the depth chart below Williams can have the same impact and command the same respect.
Similarly, missing Nicks and Demps hamstring the offense further, taking away two valuable assets that have missed large portions of this season and never got a chance to build chemistry with teammates.
And although Bowers doesn’t play often, he flashes ability when he does play. But it’s his lack of snaps and apparent status in the doghouse with the coaches that hurts the team more than his injury status.
Here are the Falcons on the injury report.
|T Sam Baker||Knee||Out|
|TE Chase Coffman||Knee||Out|
|LB Akeem Dent||Ankle||Questionable|
|RB Steven Jackson||Hamstring||Out|
|RB Jason Snelling||Concussion||Probable|
|WR Roddy White||Ham./Ankle||Out|
Steven Jackson’s continued injury problems have been a serious blow to the Atlanta offense, who were expecting to have the veteran back carrying the ball frequently and taking pressure off of Matt Ryan.
But even more disastrous is the absence of White, which combined with the season-ending injury to Julio Jones leaves the Falcons without their best weapons on offense against a strong Tampa Bay defense. Only Tony Gonzalez remains of the top four playmakers for the Atlanta offense as predicted at the beginning of the season.
The Falcons have so many injury problems at the moment that a Bucs team with a few wins could take advantage a steal a season sweep from them and get a leg up in the division. But unfortunately this is more likely to be a battle for the bottom of the NFC South, and for pride’s sake the Bucs have to hope they can overcome the damaged “Dirty Birds.”