|To protect QB Josh Freeman, the Bucs will again start RT Demar Dotson this Sunday against Dallas. (US Presswire)|
Injuries and a desire to change up the look of the offensive line caused Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano to make several roster moves.
With WRs Preston Parker and Sammie Stroughter dealing with foot injuries, Schiano and the Buccaneers brought back Jordan Shipley to the 53-man roster. Shipley was claimed off waivers by the Bucs during training camp, but was one of the final casualties of the initial cut to 53.
"I thought we were fortunate that Jordan was available," Schiano said, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "Because we felt comfortable with him when he was here -- we really liked him, but it was just space, numbers."
Schiano also indicated Stroughter's injury "could be long term." Stroughter was limping in the team's locker room on Wednesday, but the receiver declined to speak to reporters, Smith reported.
To make room for the addition of Shipley, the Bucs waived offensive lineman Derek Hardman. But that wasn't the only change on the offensive line, as Schiano indicated Demar Dotson would again start at right tackle against the Cowboys on Sunday. Dotson played last week against the Giants in place of the injured Jeremy Trueblood, and while Schiano wouldn't say the shift is permanent, he did indicate Dotson "gives us the best chance to win this week."
"It's a cumulative body of work, like all decisions are," Schiano said. "He has an athleticism to protect in the pass game. He needs to improve in many ways, but we all do."
RT Dotson continuing to develop: Another start for Dotson is just the latest sign of how quickly he has developed. Dotson never played football until college, when then-Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora heard of Dotson (then a basketball player) and his exploits in the weight room and asked him to try football, too.
Dotson found success as a defensive end, and the Bucs took a chance on him as an unrestricted free agent, thinking his size (6-foot-9, 315 pounds) and athleticism from the basketball court could eventually make for a quality offensive tackle.
A couple of years later, Dotson still has much to learn in terms of technique, but his physical gifts are undeniable, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
"It took a lot of hard work for me to get to this point, but the hard work is really just beginning,'' Dotson told Cummings. "I have to continue to get after it every day so that I can show that I'm the best guy, not just this week, but for the next 14 weeks to come. That's what I'm hoping to do."
Another tough test awaits Bucs' pass protectors: Just one week after facing the Giants' talented defensive line, life gets no easier for Tampa Bay in Week 3, as it has to confront Dallas LB DeMarcus Ware, the NFL's leader in sacks since 2006 with 93.5.
Ware lines up at linebacker and defensive end, and is more than just a pure pass-rusher, according to Schiano.
"He is one of the best players in this league, as far as production and consistency," Schiano said, according to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune. "He plays hard all the time, he's relentless and he's got incredible pass-rush technique."
For more from Tampa Bay Bucs blogger Patrick Southern, follow @CBSBucs on Twitter.