4 replacement for Russell Gage after season-ending injury

Who could step up and replace Russell Gage after the Bucs wide receiver suffered a season-ending injury?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
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5'8" | 155 lbs. player. 48. Thompkins. . . 2nd Year. 3. Deven Thompkins. Deven Thompkins

Deven Thompkins is perhaps the most impacted player out of this whole situation since the injury to Gage thrusts him into the WR3 role by default. He was right behind Gage on the depth chart and is no stranger to the Bucs system after already having spent a year in it.

Thompkins hasn't played a ton of meaningful snaps in his short career, but he's played well enough to earn himself some utility roles that have deemed him valuable enough to keep around. His roster spot never really seemed to be in doubt since he's at the very least penciled in as the Bucs kick returner, but now he has a chance to prove himself as a weapon on offense.

He's only played in five games and tallied only five receptions in his career, but he also only has a single season of experience under his belt. For all of the talk about undrafted rookies populating the roster and trying to earn a spot this offseason, Thompkins has already gone down that road after going undrafted out of Utah State in 2022.

Thompkins fits the bill of a true slot receiver, as he's a tiny guy in both frame and structure, but he's also a reliable speedster. Dave Canales has made a living off taking guys like Thompkins and turning them into impact players during his days in Seattle. Just imagine what he did with Jerome Kearse or Doug Baldwin and think about the potential he might unlock in Thompkins if he ends up stepping up in Gage's absence.