Tampa Bay Buccaneers Declare LT Smith Out for Week 16

The struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense will be without their blindside protector for their Week 16 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. Head coach Todd Bowles declared left tackle Donovan Smith out for the Bucs' Christmas Day matchup due to a foot injury sustained in the team's humiliating 34-23 Week 15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Smith has started 12 games for the Bucs this year, earning a poor 58.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his play. His regression this year has been a major contributing factor in the Bucs' offensive struggles this season; they rank 32nd in rushing yards and rushing yards per attempt and 28th in scoring.

Smith's absence is certainly an obstacle for the Buccaneers this week against the Cardinals, but it shouldn't significantly impact their chances of walking away with a win. The 4-10 Cardinals will be without their top two quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy. Third-string passer Trace McSorley has thrown three interceptions and netted 156 passing yards on only 31 dropbacks in his limited action this year.

Smith initially joined the Buccaneers as their 34th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Though never a superstar or Pro Bowler, he has been a reliable and solid left tackle for much of his career, starting 123 games and earning a pair of extensions across his nine seasons with the team. 

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