There could be another position shakeup involving Oniel Cousins this Sunday.
Buccaneers left tackle Anthony Collins was absent from practice today after being held out on Thursday with an elbow injury. The oft-injured Collins hasn’t preformed as well as expected while he’s been on the field, but has had an even more difficult time staying healthy. He missed two games last month with a foot ailment which ruined his chances for his first full – or even 15 game – season during a seven-year career.
At his Friday press conference, Lovie Smith said Collins, along with Clinton McDonald (hamstring), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back), Bobby Rainey (ankle) and Brandon Myers (calf), all of whom didn’t practice on Friday, will be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Detroit.
Smith, however, followed up by saying, “When guys don’t practice on a Friday, it’s not a good thing (for Sunday chances).”
With that being said, taking snaps at the left tackle position was the infamous twelfth man on the field, Oniel Cousins. If he assumes the role on Sunday, it will mark the third time in his career starting at left tackle. The previous two were both this season during the team’s Week 9, 22-17, loss at Cleveland and Week 10, 27-17, loss to Atlanta.
Last week Cousins, who normally plays guard, was constantly entering the game as a tight end in the absence of Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers.
The 315-pound lineman was lining up for formational purposes, not because his pass catching ability. And while we know that strategy ended in the worst way possible, at least there won’t be any confusion this Sunday regarding personnel groupings. Unlike tight ends, left tackles never come off the field for the offense.
The Buccaneers have had issues all season on the offensive line, both off the field with injuries, and on the field with performance. And it’s not going to get any easier for the five man front this weekend. The Detroit Lions have one of the NFL’s best front fours.
It will be interesting to see how Evan Dietrich-Smith (who’s set to start after missing last week with pneumonia) and Patrick Omameh match up against Ndamukong Suh. But perhaps even more important for Tampa Bay will be slowing down prolific edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who has 6.5 sacks this season. Whether it’s Cousins or rookie Kevin Pamphile, no matter who’s playing left tackle, will have a tough test.
In Other Friday News:
Austin Seferian-Jenkins sat out from practice for the third day this week. The rookie tight end is dealing with a lingering back issue, and although he’ll be listed as questionable, he’s likely to miss his fourth game of the season when the team travels to Detroit.
On a positive note for the Bucs, both Lavonte David and Mason Foster were participating on Friday. The latter was excused for personal reasons on Thursday, which was later found out to be the birth of his son, Kannon Rebel Foster.
As for David, the weakside linebacker practiced all week after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury. Many predicted him to be back in action last Sunday, but Lovie Smith is careful with hamstrings and had him sit out. This week, however, Smith sounded confident in David’s return, saying it’s a good sign after he was able to “put in a good week of practice.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Collins is one of the lowest ranked tackles in the league according to PFF individual stats, so this is hardly news to worry about. Ditto Michael Johnson if he can’t go. The only above average OL on the team according to PFF remains Demar Dotson. Everyone else is average or below. Meanwhile, Zuttah and Penn are both ranked in the top half of league at their position, with Penn being 7th. PFF tracks their performance on every play from scrimmage.
And I know Michael Johnson is DL – just lumping him in with other high priced free agent linemen.
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All of our offensive lineman cold be considered “lumps” Motobird.
What a joke. Same crap different day. Play the rookie, Cousins, Collins, Mankins, EDS, shouldn’t be on the roster in 2015. Sit em, let’s see if any current back ups are viable.
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