Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette

Thursday: In a shocking turn of events, Fournette will play tonight, though he’ll only be used in an emergency, according to Fox’s Jay Glazer.

Mike Evans and Scotty Miller will both play. Evans will likely be on a snap count.


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Wednesday: The Buccaneers will be without several playmakers against the Bears on Thursday night. The team has ruled out Chris Godwin, who suffered a hamstring injury during Week 3 and hasn’t played since, and Justin Watson, who added a chest injury to his shoulder woes last week vs. the Chargers.

Tampa Bay will also be without LeSean McCoy, as the veteran suffered an ankle sprain on Sunday and was unable to practice all week.

Leonard Fournette hasn’t officially been ruled out but he is doubtful for the contest, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. Leonard didn’t play vs. the Chargers because of an ankle injury. With McCoy sidelined and Fournette likely joining him (and Kenjon Barner serving the first game of a four-game suspension), it’ll be the Ronald Jones show yet again in the Bucs backfield. Jones went over 100 total yards on 26 touches in Week 4.


Brady’s Available Weapons

Mike Evans (ankle) is expected to suit up; same with Scotty Miller (hip/groin). Both will likely see extended playing time as they are the only two established options at wide receiver.

Behind Miller and Evans, the Buccaneers have rookie Tyler Johnson, who excelled at the University of Minnesota before Tampa Bay selected him in the fifth round of the 2020 draft. Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens could also be used, though he has mainly contributed to special teams and there’s no indication that coach Bruce Arians will deviate from that plan. Johnson is probably the guy to target if you want a cheap, dart-throw option in daily.

At tight end, the team lost O.J. Howard earlier this week with a torn Achilles. He’s out for the season and Thursday will be the first game that Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate play without Howard taking away snaps. However, that wasn’t really an issue for Gronk over the past two, as he appeared on the field for over 90 percent of the snaps in each of the past two weeks.

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