Bucs head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that rookie inside linebacker Devin White, the team’s first-round pick, would start on Sunday against the Panthers in London. White had been named the starter in training camp and had six tackles in the season opener against San Francisco before registering two stops before injuring his knee at Carolina in Week 2.
Since then, veteran Kevin Minter has filled in and recorded 29 tackles, which are second on the team, along with two tackles for loss and two passes defensed.
“That just shows the veteran player that Mint is,” Bucs inside linebacker Lavonte David said. “Obviously, Devin was playing in front of him, but you need guys that not only know what they’re doing, but also when somebody goes down you need to step up and fill that void. For us, Mint has played in that defense before so he knows it and what to expect. He can step in and make plays. That’s his job. That’s what he’s supposed to do and he’s doing that job at a high level.”
White practiced with the team for the first time last week and even dressed as one of the team’s 46 active players on Sunday in New Orleans, but didn’t practice as Arians wanted to hold him out for one more week as a precaution.
“No, he was an emergency guy,” Arians said. “Jack [Cichy] was down and was hurt, so we only had three linebackers, so he was up as an emergency guy. He’ll be ready this week.”
Arians also said that Bucs rookie cornerback Jamel Dean, who returned to practice last week from his Week 2 ankle injury, will also play against the Panthers and see time on defense and special teams.