Storyline of the week
Big names banged up: Depth along the offensive line and in the secondary isn’t Tampa Bay’s strong suit, and both units will be tested heading into the regular season. The Bucs lost starters in LT Donovan Smith and S Justin Evans before last week’s game. There’s a chance both could be back in the lineup for Week 1, but they might not be at full capacity. Both are key building blocks for Tampa Bay’s future on both sides of the ball. Smith has started every game since Week 1 of his rookie year (48 in a row), and his replacement is a converted guard who went undrafted in 2015 (Michael Liedtke), while Evans’ absence will put added pressure on rookie fourth-round pick Jordan Whitehead.
LB Jack Cichy, a sixth-round pick out of Wisconsin, missed the 2017 season with a knee injury. He finished second on the team in tackles vs. the Lions, and with Kendell Beckwith still working his way back from an injury, he has a chance to earn a roster spot with a strong finish.
Luke Easterling, Bucs Wire