The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) need every bit of help it can get as it heads into a crucial matchup with the Baltimore Ravens (4-3) on Thursday Night Football.
Well, they received just that on Wednesday when the Ravens announced interior defensive lineman -and six-time Pro Bowler- Calais Campbell will miss Thursday night’s contest due to an illness.
The Buccaneers didn’t get as lucky when it comes to the status of Ravens wideout Rashod Bateman, however. Bateman missed Tuesday’s walkthrough with a foot injury, which had many wondering what his final status would be. Bateman got in a “full practice” on Wednesday, which puts him on track to play even though he’s listed as questionable.
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews didn’t “practice” all week. He dealt with the same injury and still played 100% of offensive snaps last week, but was held without a catch during the Ravens’ win. It’ll be interesting to see what his final status is.
As for the Buccaneers, rookie left guard Luke Goedeke’s absence may not be as bad as it reads on paper. Goedeke has struggled beyond the definition this year and reserve offensive lineman Nick Leverett looked pretty good when he played in Week 7.
If Leverett plays well, it will force the Buccaneers coaching staff into making a decision between starting him or Goedeke in Week 9. There’s a chance the Buccaneers could continue their rotation of the two players, as well.
The Buccaneers will also be without Antoine Winfield Jr., Carlton Davis III, and Russell Gage in this game, which is huge.
But the biggest takeaway here is Campbell’s absence. The Buccaneers have had major issues with interior protection and interior run blocking. Campbell has been very good so far this year and was bound to wreak havoc on Thursday night.
Calais Campbell is 36 years old and still moving pretty darn well. Splits two blockers with what kind of acts like a hop step move and closes fast to affect the third-down throw. pic.twitter.com/hVjWcqXvTB— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) October 18, 2022
Not having Campbell on the other side of the line of scrimmage is a huge break for the Buccaneers and should really help their offense look respectable, at minimum.
Featured image via Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports