Tampa Bay has been a landing spot for a significant number of former Falcons. Former head coach Mike Smith made the move to Tampa to run the defense. Dirk Koetter was Tampa’s offensive coordinator and head coach between his Atlanta stints. Keith Armstrong has been down there since being unceremoniously canned by the Falcons.
Players make their way too. In this latest offseason, former Tennesee Titans and Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones signed with Tampa. Russell Gage took a free agency tour and also landed with the Buccaneers. Both players likely had October 9th circled on their calendars, ready to show the Falcons that they’ve still got it.
A potential revenge game? That term may be thrown around too loosely, as neither player was sent off against their will or locked into some cheap deal.
No hard feelings but definitely a game to show up for. Except both players are trending the wrong way to show up.
Bucs elevate two rookie receivers from the practice squad in Kaylon Geiger and Deven Thompkins. Both available vs. Falcons on Sunday -- doesn't bode well for Russell Gage and Julio Jones, both listed as questionable.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 8, 2022
Just last week, the Falcons elevated Caleb Huntley with Cordarrelle Patterson nicked up. The Buccaneers probably don’t plan to rotate two sets of wide receivers, after all, some of those active slots are needed for other positions.
For Jones, he hasn’t seen much playing time this season thanks to injuries. He’s played a scant 18 snaps since Week 1, producing merely 4 receptions for 76 yards and 0 TDs. Gage has seen a healthy number of snaps producing 21 receptions for 152 yards and 1 TD. It is probably worth mentioning that Tom Brady has not been himself, averaging just over 250 yards and 1.5 TDs per game.
It is clear neither Jones or Gage are at full strength. Tampa may be looking at Atlanta’s current injuries and think it can win this one without either. Either way, we aren’t likely to see either make an impact Sunday.