UPDATE: Look for Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette to both get the night off, per Greg Auman. We could see some Giovani Bernard, but expect mostly Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
After engaging each other in an apparent Royal Rumble at one of their joint practices this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans will meet at Raymond James Stadium for an actual preseason game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Every coaching staff has a different approach when it comes to who plays in the preseason and how much, especially with there only being three exhibitions for most teams this year instead of four. For this matchup, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians already indicated earlier in the week that he probably won’t play any of his starters. Meanwhile on the other sideline, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was displeased with his team’s efforts in the second joint practice, but will probably take a similar approach to Arians when it comes to Saturday night.
There’s virtually zero chance of seeing Tom Brady taking a single snap for the Bucs in this one so like last week against Cincinnati, we’ll primarily see a mix of Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, and perhaps more of rookie quarterback Kyle Trask in this one.
Similarly, don’t anticipate Ryan Tannehill suit up for Tennessee as Logan Woodside and Matt Barkley will take the reigns.
Fourth-string back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is the primary rusher to look out for with the Bucs after getting 11 carries and two receptions in their preseason opener last week.
For the Titans, there’s still an ongoing battle to see who will be Derrick Henry’s backup and candidates Mekhi Sargent, Brian Hill, and Darrynton Evans all got plenty of touches in last week’s win over the Falcons. I’d anticipate all three getting carries again in this one with Evans possibly getting more looks.
No, we will not see Antonio Brown mix it up with Tennessee defenders after throwing a punch in practice on Thursday. He only had one target in their preseason opener last week anyway. However, we will see plenty of youngsters in Jaelon Darden, Tyler Johnson, and Jaydon Mickens, who’s fighting to stay on the roster.
Mason Kinsey had a nice four reception, 51 yard game against Atlanta last week so expect to see plenty more of him along with Miller Forristall as the Titans try to add more depth to their WR room.
Tanner Hudson has been in and out of the doghouse with Arians throughout training camp but did excel as the Bucs’ lead receiver in last week’s loss to the Bengals. Expect him to get more work as he tries to make the roster.
Anthony Firkser should get plenty of work as the Titans try to establish some TE depth.