Buccaneers rookie will enter the limelight in Week 3 vs. Rams
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers will need Joe Tryon-Shoyinka to have a huge game in Week 3 versus the Rams.
The bad luck just continues for the Buccaneers ahead of their most crucial game of the season so far. The Rams are the most likely team for the Bucs to face in the NFC Championship as of now, and Tampa won’t even get a great test in this huge game with several key players out.
We already knew about Antonio Brown, the most efficient receiver for Tampa, and Kevin Minter, a special teams captain, who are both out on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Neither player is likely to be back by the start of the game. The Bucs will greatly miss Brown’s 23 yards per reception and the consistent presence Minter brings to the special teams unit.
To make matters worse, Tampa is about to be down another starter. According to Ian Rapoport on Twitter, Jason Pierre-Paul is dealing with a shoulder injury where the recommendation is to rest this weekend.
The defense has already struggled to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks with JPP on the field. That prospect only gets more challenging with his likely absence. JPP could try to take the field this weekend, but that doesn’t make much sense considering the potential to make the injury worse for a game that matters little in the long run.
Assuming Pierre-Paul does not start, that means Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is the next man up. The rookie pass rusher from Washington experienced a great preseason that was enough to excite the fanbase in many ways, but now the pressure is on.
Tryon-Shoyinka should shoulder a decent portion of the reps as the logical choice at starter, and the Rams have a very good offensive line. JTS will face an uphill battle with this being the first start of his regular-season career, but injuries have thrust other players into starting roles before the team thought they were ready (ask Tom Brady), and this will be the perfect way to evaluate some additional defensive options for the Buccaneers down the line.
No matter how you look at it, this will be a tough game for the Buccaneers, and rookie or not; Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is going to have to play his heart out this weekend if Tampa wants a shot at escaping L.A. 3-0.
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