In the final practice before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, there were a few issues that we thought would be resolved by this point that were not, and much of that has to do with who was at practice Friday and who was not.

Here were the five things we learned form One Buc Place on Friday.

Still No Kwon Alexander

Bucs starting linebacker Kwon Alexander left last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears with a hamstring injury, an injury that also sidelined him briefly during training camp.

Before he went out, Alexander recorded an interception on the Bears’ first drive of the game. Rookie Kendell Beckwith switched over to middle linebacker after Kwon’s departure and played quite well.

After the game, and all week this week, Alexander has stated that he is fine and will be good to go for Sunday’s game. However, Friday marked the third day in a row that Alexander had not practiced, and it’s rare that we see a player not practice at all during a week, only to suit up on Sunday.

Adam Humphries QB3?

The Bucs are one of only five teams in the NFL to only have two quarterbacks both active roster and practice squad included. One reason for that is because they expect to get quarterback Ryan Griffin back at some point.

However, there still has to be some sort of a game plan for a third quarterback if something unfortunate were to happen to both Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick. As of today, we’ve learned that wide receiver Adam Humphries would be the team’s third quarterback, if needed.

Humphries has played some quarterback before in high school, and the team has him go through walkthroughs on Saturday as a quarterback.

Adam Griffin Back In Action (Sort Of)

Speaking of that third quarterback, Ryan Griffin was seen throwing passes to Freddie Martino, Bobo Wilson and cameron Brate after practice.

Griffin was wearing no pads and a bucket hat, of course, but it was encouraging to see him sling the ball with some pace. His recovery must be on schedule.

Mike Evans Vs. The World

The big matchup this week, or the most high profile one, is surely the one between on of the better cornerback in the league, Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes, against Bucs’ All-Pro wide receiver Mike Evans.

The Chicago Bears gave Evans single coverage one time in the red zone last week. In it, Evans scored a touchdown.

The question this week is if the Vikings will do the same, just with a better corner. Rhodes is a physical corner, and those types of defenders are often left with little help. Rhodes held Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas both below their yards-per-game averages, and now it’s time to see if he can do the same with Evans (whose yards per game is about 82).

Koetter said after practice that, in no disrespect to Rhodes, they’ll take Mike Evans in single coverage against any defender in the NFL. That was proved true last year when the team showed they were willing to attack even Seattle’s Richard Sherman when he was one-on-one with Evans (in which Evans score a touchdown).

Case Keenum a.k.a. The Buc Killer Is Back

According to multiple sources now, Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford will not be playing on Sunday. That means that Case Keenum will be the starting quarterback.

Keenum has had the Bucs number the last two times he has faced the Buccaneers, and even the players know that, too.

However, we explain, by the numbers, how odd it is and how unlikely it is that Keenum will repeat a stellar perfromance against one team for a third time.


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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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4 years ago

We get pretty used to hearing own coaches speaking admiringly of the stars on teams next up on the schedule. It’s refreshing to hear Dirk say, “nah, I’ll take my guy anytime against anyone”!

Hats off to coach Koetter! And to Big Mike!

4 years ago

If Cook is held below 90 yards, I think we win. Surely we have Keenum figured out by now> go Bucs!

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

I agree with coach K Mike E. Is very physical and will have a GOOD game if Viks. Try to cover him with single coverage. GO BUCS SHOW THE WORLD!

4 years ago

Keenum beat us with the deep ball last year when our defensive backs were still running into each other including Bret tGrimes and Keith Tandy. They appear to have straightened things outs over the last nine games. Lets hope so.