NFL PREVIEWS |

Preview: Vikings at Buccaneers


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving up points at an astounding rate but had last week off to address some of the bigger holes in defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s scheme. The Minnesota Vikings, who visit the Buccaneers on Sunday, are dealing with some deficiencies on the offensive side as rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tries to find his way. The Vikings attempt to end a three-game slide against Tampa Bay.

Bridgewater was not around in Minnesota last season, when Frazier served as the Vikings' head coach, but his familiarity with the defense he sees may not matter. Frazier’s defense with Minnesota gave up the most points in the league in 2013, and the Buccaneers are at the bottom again with 422.8 yards and 30.4 points allowed on average. “We’re just going to try to tear everything down and see if we can figure out a way to get better – some of the basic things that we’re trying to get accomplished,” Frazier told reporters of his efforts during the bye week. “But we’re not through with that process yet.”

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Buccaneers -3. O/U: 41.5

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (2-5):
Minnesota lost on the final play at Buffalo 17-16 last week, marking the fifth time in seven games that the team has failed to score more than 16 points. Bridgewater threw his first touchdown pass in four games since taking over under center but was limited to 157 yards passing and was picked off twice, giving him five interceptions in the last two weeks. The Vikings have struggled in protection and tight end Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia) has been ruled out for Sunday. “I think I’ve been doing a good job of getting the ball down the field,” Bridgewater told reporters. “I know that I can do much better, but at the same time, we’re not going to continue to try to test protection or anything.”

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (1-5): That Minnesota protection could face a bigger challenge this week if defensive end Michael Johnson is 100 percent following the bye after being limited most of the first six games. “For us, it’s a factor,” Frazier told reporters of Johnson. “He’s been playing injured. This week is going to help him tremendously.” Tampa Bay also expects to be healthier in the secondary with the return of cornerback Johnathan Banks from one contest off and safety Dashon Goldson back from a two-game absence. The Buccaneers are expected to start Mike Glennon at quarterback with Josh McCown still battling through a thumb injury.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Buccaneers FB Jorvorskie Lane and DE Da’Quan Bowers will each miss the next two games after being suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

2. Minnesota DE Everson Griffin is tied for the NFC lead with seven sacks, including five in the last three contests.

3. Tampa Bay signed KR Trindon Holliday and waived WR Solomon Patton.

PREDICTION: Vikings 20, Buccaneers 17

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Stadium

Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida, USA.
Capacity: 65,890

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Last Injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Chris Godwin

    Concussion
    day-to-day | questionable

    Godwin sat out the previous game as he is going through the concussion protocol, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Broncos during Week 3.

  • Parnell Motley

    Hamstring
    day-to-day | questionable

    Motley has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will be available Week 3 against the Broncos.

  • Antony Auclair

    Calf
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Auclair has hit the injured reserve list due to a calf injury, and it is uncertain how much time he will miss.

  • Donovan Smith

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Smith is nursing a knee injury, but is likely to be in Sunday's lineup against the Panthers.

  • Carlton Davis

    Hand
    day-to-day | questionable

    Davis left Sunday's game due to a hand injury, and it is unknown if he will return.

  • Mike Evans

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury, but he is expected to take the field Sunday versus the Panthers.

  • Rakeem Nunez-Roches

    Upper Body
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Nunez-Roches left the previous game due to an upper-body injury, and it is unknown if he will line up against the Panthers on Sunday.

  • Andrew Adams

    Hamstring
    Prob Sun | probable

    Adams has a hamstring injury, but he is expected to play Sunday versus the Saints.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Danielle Hunter

    Neck
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Hunter has landed on the injured reserve list due to a neck injury, and he will miss an extended period.

  • Pat Elflein

    Thumb
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Elflein has been designated for the injured reserve list with a torn ligament in his thumb. It is unknown how much time he will need to heal.

  • Anthony Barr

    Shoulder
    day-to-day | questionable

    Barr left the last game with a shoulder injury, and it is unclear if he will be able to participate in Week 4's matchup with the Titans.

  • Cameron Dantzler

    Ribs
    day-to-day | questionable

    Dantzler missed the last game with injured ribs, and it is unclear if he will play Week 3 versus the Titans.

  • Mike Boone

    Concussion
    day-to-day | questionable

    Boone left the last to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return. It is unknown if he will be cleared in time for Week 3 against the Titans.

  • Jeff Gladney

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Gladney is working his way back from surgery to fix a torn meniscus, and his status for the season opener against the Packers is in question.

  • Myles Dorn

    Undisclosed
    I-R | I-R

    Dorn has passed through waivers with an unspecified injury and is now on the injured reserve list.