After coming into close contact with a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19, Bucs starting left tackle Donovan Smith will miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Smith has played in every game this season until now. He released a statement through the team on the situation.

Without Smith, the Bucs will likely turn to Josh Wells, a veteran backup who has played just 19 snaps this season. Wells is in his second season with Tampa Bay, but struggled last season in 203 snaps, allowing 14 pressures and three sacks while committing four penalties. The Bucs would hope to get Smith back for the Lions game on Saturday, December 26, but it remains to be seen how his COVID tests will go over the next few days.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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MarkWatson
7 months ago

cross training for Wirfs? or not enough time?

Spitfire
7 months ago

Dammit. He was freaking worried about Football exposing him to Covid before the season started and then he goes and gets caught up by a Family member. Christ man, why can’t these guys just stay safe for a few months. You pay someone $14.5 million to play football and they should be willing to sit in their house till the final game.

Lawdy
7 months ago

darn it to heck

TBChucky
7 months ago

Feels like the wheels are falling off this wagon right about now.. I guess we’ve just been lucky up until now..

eaustinyoung
Reply to  TBChucky
7 months ago

The wheels are falling off? All 3 specialists came back.

SenileSenior
7 months ago

Ironic! That’s the word. Unlike a couple of other NFL teams we had no key players opt out of this season. All of our players and staff have done very well with the protocols so far. That is until this past week. Human psyhology and the need for human contact is necessary for all of us. It has nothing to do with how much you are paid. The pandemic has been tough for everyone. Being a senior and having to spend a good deal of time in self-quarantine isolation this year caused me to have to reach out for extra… Read more »

Roladin
Reply to  SenileSenior
7 months ago

Totally aggree on this. Changed my job back in March and got “homeofficed” right at the beginning. Looked like the jackpot to me, but after six weeks or so it got verry stressful just to stay at home. And I’m someone who loves to be alone…

Last edited 7 months ago by Roladin
Spitfire
Reply to  SenileSenior
7 months ago

He just had a baby. He was complaining about playing before the season started about being exposed yet he can’t stay away from others in his personal life long enough. He’s got people at home. I’ve had zero problem staying away from people or not being able to go anywhere. I’m aware not everyone is mentally tough enough to handle not hanging out but for the season shouldn’t be too much to ask of any of them. His precautions are just like his play, he’s great 90% of the time and then all of a sudden he acts like he… Read more »

IDGABuc
Reply to  SenileSenior
7 months ago

Yeah I agree 100%. It REALLY sucks, but if I were to have quarantined like I was supposed to all year I’d have not gotten to see my nieces at all, who I had just shared custody of for a year. I made it about 3wks and I felt like I’d lost some important organs.. Like my heart and my brain/mind! I took all precautions, but the girls are in school and while so far I don’t think I’ve gotten it, I could have and I’ve had to help with all my at risk family grocery shopping etc.. Idk because… Read more »

eaustinyoung
7 months ago

Ted Larsen should be able to fill in against a non-elite defense in ATL.

jongruden
Reply to  eaustinyoung
7 months ago

Larsen is terrible seen him in AZ and Cards Fans Hated him and he not a LT he a guard

stanvision
7 months ago

Now all the DS haters will see why we need him.

eaustinyoung
Reply to  stanvision
7 months ago

Everything Smith does is average. He won’t be hard to replace.

Spitfire
Reply to  stanvision
7 months ago

We definitely need him this season, nobody should question that, but that doesn’t mean we can do much better at LT.

matador
Reply to  stanvision
7 months ago

We need him because Licht has underinvested in the line his entire time playing FF, I mean GM. The fact this guy was our LT all this time with no quality swing tackle backup is unconscionable.

IDGABuc
Reply to  matador
7 months ago

AGREED!

eaustinyoung
Reply to  stanvision
7 months ago

This aged like milk.

jongruden
7 months ago

Hmm, day after XMas, coincidence? perhaps? But I still go hmm

IDGABuc
Reply to  jongruden
7 months ago

R u saying I missed Christmas?!!

MWD
MWD
7 months ago

He will probably be gone after this year- he’s too slow out of his stance and gets manhandled by quicker guys off the edge. He’s also a “penalty in a critical time” king.

seat26
7 months ago

Geezus. The Covid infections are starting to get out of control. Not good.

Horse
7 months ago

It’s time for Wells to show what he can do under pressure. Let’s support him and be positive he will be able to hold his side of the defensive line abode.

scubog
7 months ago

Let’s hope Josh Wells can at least hold up for this game because he sure hasn’t been able the other times he’s been in there.

Horse
Reply to  scubog
7 months ago

Well I’m sure am not in favor of moving Wirf over with three games remaining. Any other thoughts on this? How about adding a 3rd TE when it’s obvious passing situations

IDGABuc
Reply to  Horse
7 months ago

We may have to. I’d feel better with Gronk over there too. I just hope Arians doesn’t treat it as next man up mentality and realizes whoever it is is going to need some help. Can’t lose Brady. Can’t lose PERIOD!

fredster
7 months ago

Having all special teams guys back is great. Losing Jones isn’t end of world as we have some depth and Mccoy showed some burst willingness to play last week. Fournette needs to step up he’s been somewhat disappointing. I’m not a Donavan Smith fan, but Wells has been very bad. It is ironic after the whole Im considering to opt out tweet he had. Then we play Saints and he’s pathetic and looks like he opted out! I was thinking when he was talking about opting out you likely have more chance to catch it at home or going to… Read more »

Dave
Reply to  fredster
7 months ago

In theory, the Smith absence shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Brady is near the top of the league in fewest sacks, and the Falcons rank in the bottom half in sacks. So this shouldn’t be a huge deal. As far as Jones, completely disagree. I think thats a huge deal. Just because we have depth, doesn’t mean we’re in good shape. Because in the Bucs case, depth means they have multiple healthy bodies as backups. Problem is, there’s a big drop off between Jones and either Fournette or McCoy. Fournette sucks, and McCoy can’t handle a big workload. Luckily for… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Dave
Spitfire
Reply to  Dave
7 months ago

Nobody wants to give Jones credit but he was still 4th in the NFL at the start of last week. Hopefully Fournette can get in a rhythm while getting more playing time.

fredster
Reply to  Spitfire
7 months ago

I give Jones lots credit. I think he’s way better than average and our O line ‘s run blocking and the obvious no imagination, air it out 3rd and short 90% of time , play calling is below average so that’s saying a lot.

IDGABuc
Reply to  Dave
7 months ago

I want to see what this rookie we spent a 3rd Rd pick on has. Either that or Fournette starts running it as hard as Jones does EVERY SINGLE PLAY! I love what Jones has done this year. Let’s at least give Vaughn a shot