Ahead of their week 15 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost some crucial players to COVID-19.
The team will enter Sunday’s game without the help of their core special teams unit. This includes kicker Ryan Succop, punter Bradley Pinion, and long-snapper, Zach Triner. While the Bucs have not clarified whether or not these players have tested positive, many experts have begun to speculate alternative options.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not employ any back up special teamers on their active roster. However, they do still have a kicker Brad Joseph on the practice squad. That might help mend some damage in the kicking department, but the question of long snapper still remains. Perhaps their center, Ryan Jensen, or another offensive linemen, has some experience long-snapping either in high school or college. This could suffice for kicking, however, punting is a much more difficult snap.
With that in mind, some have given thought to quarterback Tom Brady taking over punting duties. Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is no stranger to interesting offensive looks. Also, Tom Brady actually has experience with quick punts in his time in New England.
At every level of football, teams have employed the “quick punt” play. In this play, the quarterback punts from the shotgun position, standing a couple of yards further back than normal. This also gives the quarterback a chance to make a read on the defense. He can then chose to run a play or to kick based on the defensive look. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must trust Tom Brady’s offensive mind to take advantage of this look.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Playoff Picture
With only three games left in the regular season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually have a very solid look at making the playoffs. While the New Orleans Saints lead the NFC South, the Bucs currently hold a Wild Card position. With Sunday’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings, they further separated themselves from the competition. The Vikings sit in the bubble is the first team looking in. With a win over Atlanta this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get one step closer to securing a playoff berth.