Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be without four starters vs. Ravens

TAMPA, Fla. — The Buccaneers will be without four starters when they host the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night as quarterback Tom Brady tries to avoid three straight losses for the first time in 20 years and only the second time in his career.

The Bucs will be without left guard Luke Goedeke, defenseman Antoine Winfield Jr., cornerback Carlton Davis and tight end Cam Brate against the Ravens. Reserve receiver Russell Gage and backup cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting were also ruled out.

Wide receiver Julio Jones, who is struggling with a knee injury, will be a game-time decider and defenseman Akiem Hicks, who returned to practice this week for the first time since his Week 2 foot injury, will be doubtful, Bowles said.

“We’ll see how he feels [Thursday] after being out here for two days,” Bowles said of Hicks. “We’ll play it by ear.”

Goedeke, a rookie who has struggled to make the transition from college right tackle to NFL left guard, suffered a foot injury last week against the Carolina Panthers. Bowles said earlier this week he would start again with Nick Leverett, but it became clear this week when Goedeke tried to practice that he wasn’t good enough to play.

Leverett will get the start.

Gage suffered a hamstring injury against the Panthers significant enough to warrant an MRI earlier this week, while Winfield, one of the Bucs’ best defensive playmakers, suffered a concussion against Carolina and is still on the record.

Davis, their top outside cornerback, was held out last week after sustaining a hip injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago and missing practice all week. Murphy-Bunting, their top reserve corner and a starter last year, was also held out with a quadriceps injury last week, but he’s still making progress and has run.

Brate, who was stretchered against the Steelers, is still dealing with a sprained neck and the team is taking a cautious approach to his recovery. There is no timetable for his return.

The Bucs will also be without the assistance of linebacker KJ Britt, a Core Special Team player who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with an ankle injury.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34883329/tampa-bay-buccaneers-four-starters-vs-ravens Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be without four starters vs. Ravens

Emma Bowman

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