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Jameis Winston flounders in NFL debut

MINNEAPOLIS -- After impressing in training camp, quarterback Jameis Winston showed he still is a rookie with a subpar performance in his preseason debut. Here are some quick thoughts on the Bucs’ 26-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings:

QB depth chart: The Mike Glennon fan club likely will be vocal after Winston’s dismal performance. But there is no competition. The Bucs drafted Winston to be their starter and that’s not going to change.

Maybe that dude could start: Rookie Kwon Alexander worked as the second-team middle linebacker. But he seriously is pushing Bruce Carter for the starting job.

Who got hurt? Right tackle Demar Dotson went down with an apparent knee injury late in the first quarter. There was no immediate word on how serious Dotson’s injury is.

Surprise performer who looks amazing: Fourth-string running back Mike James was one of the few bright spots. He scored a third-quarter touchdown and also showed good hands as a receiver out of the backfield. He could challenge Bobby Rainey for the final roster spot at running back.

Rookie watch: Although the Bucs want Donovan Smith to start at left tackle and Ali Marpet at right guard, the two rookies didn’t get the start in the opener. Kevin Pamphile started at left tackle and Garrett Gilkey at right guard. Smith did get some first-team work and allowed a sack.

When it was starters vs. starters, the Bucs looked …: Like the 2-14 team they were a year ago. The offense couldn’t move the ball and the defense couldn’t stop the Vikings. Minnesota pulled its starters near the end of the first quarter, holding a 9-3 lead.

One reason to freak out: The Bucs have high hopes for their outside pass rush. It didn’t show up at all against the Vikings. Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater completed 7 of 8 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. That has to change or else it’s going to be a long season for the defense.

Tandy missing: Backup safety Keith Tandy did not make the trip. He was excused due to a family matter. Defensive tackle Akeem Spence, who is coming off back surgery, also didn’t make the trip.