The Buccaneers could have their hands full for a while if they are going to be without starting left tackle Donovan Smith.
In a season where injuries have already been a huge issue, the Buccaneers really couldn’t afford to lose anyone else in their season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
Unfortunately for Tampa (and Tom Brady specifically), a very important player went down in the first half.
Since writing this article, Chris Godwin was also taken out for the game, but the point remains that the initial loss was a major problem.
Starting left tackle Donovan Smith went down early in the game, likely changing the offensive game plan for the rest of the match.
Defensive phenom Micah Parsons blew by Smith on two separate plays, and the second rep ended with Smith on the ground with an injury to his elbow.
The immediate impact on the offense was evident.
Smith is a very good pass-blocker. This offense is at its best when Smith is able to buy Tom Brady time and let him air the ball out. That doesn’t happen with Josh Wells on the field.
Wells is a massive downgrade for a team that has come to rely on Smith’s talents over the past few years. Brady has still been able to get a few deep passes off, but the timing has been disrupted substantially.
Hopefully the Bucs are able to get their starting tackle back soon, but any games being played without Donovan Smith are going to make this game much harder for Tampa.
When adding this injury to all of the other ones that have happened to the offensive line, this is not good news for a team that had one of the best lines in the league last season.
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