The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already banged up mentally after back-to-back losses, but the bruises extend beyond the box score.
It was another tough loss on Sunday — the second straight home loss, no less — and the Buccaneers began a short week of practice down a few notable players. Perhaps the biggest name not appearing was quarterback Baker Mayfield, who missed practice with a knee injury he suffered at some point in the loss against Atlanta.
Baker was under duress all afternoon, getting sacked three times and needing to constantly be jolting around the pocket to escape pressure. It’s unclear when he suffered the injury, or how truly severe it is, but it was enough to keep him sidelined on Monday.
It might have been that he was simply given a day of rest, as the Bucs are being forced to pivot away from the bad performance on Sunday against the Falcons to prepare for an insanely tough test against an angry Buffalo Bills team looking to makeup for an ugly loss to the Patriots on Sunday.
Keep in mind that Monday’s practice was a walkthrough, so it’s not like Baker missed anything in full pads. It’s still a situation worth monitoring given the quick turnaround before the Bucs next game.
Baker Mayfield, Chris Godwin both miss first practice of short week
It wasn’t just Baker who missed practice for the Bucs, as Chris Godwin also sat out due to a neck injury. Kate on Merriweather, who left Sunday’s loss early, also missed practice alongside offensive guard Matt Feiler.
While it’s worrisome to see Mayfield an Godwin both missing practice, they each finished the game on Sunday and typically don’t have to get right back at it the day after a game.
One positive piece of news is that Chase Edmonds returned from IR this week and is already fully participating in practice. That bodes well for the Bucs running back room getting some much-needed relief even if a move doesn’t get made at the deadline.
The injuries to Baker and Godwin aren’t believed to be serious, but we’ll learn a lot in the next few days in terms of how healthy they’ll be heading into Thursday’s game against Buffalo.
Right now it’s a bit unnerving to see these guys pop up on the injury report, but it’s still a wide gap between Baker missing practice on Monday and Kyle Trask making his first career start in a few days. Nothing should be ruled out, but bets should not be placed on such a thing happening.