Bucs' 53-man roster projection complicated by injuries at WR, OL, LB

Bucs starting left guard J.R. Sweezy will begin the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a back injury, opening a roster spot for someone else. Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must cut their roster to 75 by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday and to 53 by 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Here's a final 53-man roster projection:

Quarterback (3): Jameis Winston, Mike Glennon, Ryan Griffin

The Bucs go with three quarterbacks, like they did last season. It should be noted that Griffin isn't practice-squad eligible.

Running back (4): Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Mike James, Peyton Barber

The final running back spot came down to Barber or Russell Hansbrough. Barber, a powerful inside runner, gets the edge based on the first three preseason games and his work on special teams.

Wide receiver (6): Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, Russell Shepard, Donteea Dye, Bernard Reedy

Louis Murphy will begin the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. After a strong start to camp, Kenny Bell misses the cut. Humphries clinches the starting punt returner job, along with the slot receiver job. Dye clinches the starting kick returner spot, although his hamstring injury may mean he's not ready for Week 1, depending on what an MRI shows Monday. If that's the case, a roster spot opens up for Reedy. Evan Spencer's knee injury makes for a tough decision. He performed well enough in camp to make the squad, but the team needs healthy bodies.

Tight end (4): Cameron Brate, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Luke Stocker, Danny Vitale

Brate and Seferian-Jenkins are 1 and 2 or 1a and 1b, while Stocker is the team's best run blocker. Vitale gets the fourth and final tight end spot over Brandon Myers because of his upside and special-teams play.

Offensive line (8): Donovan Smith, Demar Dotson, Ali Marpet, Joe Hawley, Evan Smith, Gosder Cherilus, Kevin Pamphile, Josh Allen

The team's starting left guard, J.R. Sweezy, will begin the season on the reserve/PUP list with a back injury, and Pamphile will start in his spot. Allen's work in the third preseason game -- starting and playing 40 snaps at left guard -- earns him a spot.

Defensive line (9): Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence, Cliff Matthews, Noah Spence, Robert Ayers, William Gholston, Jacquies Smith, Howard Jones

It came down to Kourtnei Brown and Jones for the final spot, and while Brown is a solid player, Jones offers more upside from a pure pass-rushing standpoint. He had a strong camp and preseason. The Bucs have far more depth along the defensive line than they've had in years.

Linebacker (7): Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Daryl Smith, Devonte Bond, Josh Keyes, Luke Rhodes, Adarius Glanton

Injuries to Smith and Bond means the Bucs are likely to keep seven linebackers instead of six. Micah Awe misses the cut but had a strong camp and would make a great practice-squad candidate.

Cornerback (5): Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, Alterraun Verner, Jude Adjei-Barimah, Josh Robinson

Despite a strong third preseason game, Johnthan Banks misses the cut, with Robinson getting the nod. Adjei-Barimah's ability to play outside and nickel also gives him a leg up. Keep an eye out for what the Bucs do with Verner if the team is content with Hargreaves and Grimes as the two starters.

Safety (4): Bradley McDougald, Chris Conte, Keith Tandy, Ryan Smith

Tandy’s versatility earns him a roster spot once again, while Smith’s coverage skills and quickness as a former cornerback earn him the job, despite dealing with an injury early on in camp. Veteran Major Wright misses the cut.

Specialist (3): PK Roberto Aguayo, P Bryan Anger, LS Andrew DePaola

Anger averaged 44.1 net yards per punt this preseason -- fourth in the NFL -- with an overall average of 48.7. Last season's punter, Jacob Schum, had a net average of 39.5 with an overall average of 41.0.