The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have ruled TE OJ Howard OUT Sunday vs. Tennessee with a hamstring injury. The 2017 first rounder has had a lackluster season so far and has recently been involved in trade rumors. This opens up a spot for Tanner Hudson, who had an outstanding preseason, to make his NFL debut. Jason Pierre-Paul is also eligible to make his season debut after breaking his neck in a car accident over the off-season. He still needs to be cleared by the medical staff, but practiced without limitations all week.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) visit the Tennessee Titans (3-4) at 1:00 PM on Sunday, October 27 at Nissan Stadium. The Buccaneers are coming off of a bye week after an ugly division loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Hudson had arguably the best preseason of any Buccaneer, going for 245 yards and three touchdown receptions. He became a fan favorite and secured one of the final 53 roster spots. However, with OJ Howard, Cameron Brate, and Antony Auclair ahead of him on the depth chart, Hudson has been a healthy scratch all season. Now with Howard out, Hudson is the next man up. Brate and Auclair will still serve as TE1 and TE2, but expect to see Hudson in on a few routes and red zone opportunities.
The Buccaneers defensive line has been one of the strong points for the team so far this season. They are about to get stronger. The team leader in sacks last season (12.5) has recovered from a broken neck that he suffered in May. He acknowledged that not many players come back from such an injury, but added, “Not many players come back from blowing their hand off either.” If it were up to Pierre-Paul, he would definitely be playing, but team doctors still need to clear him for Sunday. It looks like he has about a 50/50 chance to play and it will be a game-time decision, according to Coach Bruce Arians.