It's been a weird week of practice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Wednesday the team lost starting wide receiver Russell Gage to a season-ending leg injury. Gage's injury overshadowed what as an otherwise phenomenal practice by the Bucs, one that saw a pair of rookies step up in a big way.
Cody Mauch, who looked good but not great in his first preseason game, looked every bit like the dominant guard the Bucs used a second round pick on back in April. the standout, though, was Nebraska speedster Trey Palmer who talked a big game on Sauce Gardner ("No face, no name") and proceeded to absolutely cook him.
Losing Gage, though, put a damper on the domination.
Thursday was weird for another reason, as it saw the Bucs forced to practice at the New York Giants facility rather than share a joint practice with the Jets. It had some folks begging the question- seriously or jokingly- of whether or not Aaron Rodgers and his new team ghosted the Bucsrs and his new team.
Did the Jets blow off the Buccaneers at practice on Thursday?
It's a funny concept to imagine, but it's unfortunately not true.
According to Rick Stroud, the Jets had already planned on skipping Thursday's practice as far back as March. While the members of the Bucs apparently weren't pleased about the arrangement, it wasn't as though the Jets blindsided anyone with the decision.
We'd like to pretend the Bucs so aggressively dominated the Jets on Wednesday that it scared them off from showing up the next day.
None of that changes the fact that the Bucs looked like they were finally starting to come into their own this week at practice. The defensive line was a force that beat up the Jets offensive front, and everything seemed to be clicking in a way we've been waiting to see all offseason.
The question now is whether it's sustainable progress. We'll get a good look at that answer this weekend when the Jets and Bucs meet in the second preseason game of the summer.