TAMPA, Fla. -- As is his custom, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has been vague about plans for his starters in Thursday’s preseason finale at Miami.
Smith has said only that the starters won’t play a lot. But the fact is they might not play at all, if you go by Smith’s history. In last season's preseason finale, offensive lineman Patrick Omameh and linebacker Jonathan Casillas were the only two opening-day starters to play.
Look for Smith to take a similar approach Thursday. Sitting the starters would be a wise move. Especially rookie quarterback Jameis Winston.
He has been playing and practicing with a sprained ankle. Winston can use the rest to get fully healthy for the regular-season opener against Tennessee.
Sure, Winston could use more playing time. But it’s more important to get him healthy. There is no sense in putting him out there for two or three series against the Dolphins, especially if it’s behind the second-team offensive line.