After a surprisingly hot start to the season, it's safe to say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are feeling themselves. Baker Mayfield has seemingly won over the entire locker room, Todd Bowles is coaching on a completely different level, and the team is off to a 1-0 start to the season.
Making matters even better is an extremely winnable game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. It will mark the Bucs home opener and is already a game where the odds have swung back in their favor after Vegas was out on them earlier in the offseason.
It's a matchup against a Bears team that looked totally lost in Week 1, and it's one that just got a little easier due to some truly unfortunate circumstances.
Bears rule out key player ahead of Week 2 matchup vs. Buccaneers (Updated)
According to Chicago Bears beat writer Nicholas Moreano, and later confirmed by Adam Schefter, the Bears will be without starting right guard Nate Davis, who didn't travel with the team to Tampa Bay. This would mean that backup guard Ja'Tyre Carter is in line to start with Chicago elevating a practice squad lineman to add depth behind him.
Not having him for the game in Tampa Bay is a huge blow to the Bears. It significantly weakens an offensive line that's up against a front for the Bucs that absolutely swarmed Kirk Cousins and the Vikings last Sunday.
It seems that another suboptimal offensive line group might create a similarly dire situation for Justin Fields. Davis signed a $30 million deal in free agency to try and help protect Fields, something that didn't really happen in Week 1 and is even less likely heading into Sunday.
Last week the Bucs sacked Cousins twice but had constant pressure on him thanks in large part to a backup center being thrust into the game early on. Tampa Bay now steps into an almost identical situation with Davis being out and Carter needing to step up, with the possibility that a member of the practice squad plays as well.