Buccaneers: Five backups who are key to 2017 success

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 24: Charles Sims /

Charles Sims – Running back

Heading into his fourth season, Charles Sims is at a critical point in his career. The West Virginia product was drafted to be a complimentary running back and thus far that’s been exactly his role. Sims was electric as a pass-catching play-maker in 2015, but spent most of 2014 and 2016 injured or ineffective as a runner.

Despite not having a clear path to starting, Sims will have a critical role to play this season with the Bucs running game very much a question mark.

Doug Martin

will miss the first three games of the season as he completes his four game suspension from last year, and

Jacquizz Rodgers

isn’t the type of runner to carry the load long-term.

A weapon like Sims is critical for an offense like the Bucs have. Weapons like DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, and O.J. Howard will stretch defenses out and allow plenty of open field close to the line of scrimmage for a pass catching back like Sims to take advantage of. Playing a 3rd down role, Sims can be a reliable check down target for Winston. Should Martin not be able to stay healthy once he returns, you can expect Sims to get a shot at running more often.