1. C Joe Hawley
Hawley was signed in September and made his first start against the Texans in Week 3, filling in for an injured Evan Smith. Competing against one of the league's top pass-rushes, the Bucs didn't surrender a single sack to Houston in Week 3. The Bucs' O-line followed that performance up by paving the way for back-to-back 100-yard rushing games by Doug Martin in Weeks 4 and 5. On Wednesday, Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter said that Smith is still the team's starter at center, whenever he returns. How will the Bucs' utilize Howley when that time comes?
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2. RT Demar Dotson
There isn't much of a question as to whether or not Dotson will step back into his starting spot when he is eligible to play in Week 9. It will be interesting, though, to see how he transitions back into the starting lineup. Dotson suffered a knee injury in the Bucs' first preseason game and was placed on the injured reserve – designated to return list soon after. Veteran Gosder Cherilus has lined up as the Bucs' right tackle in Dotson's absence.
3. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Like Dotson, Seferian-Jenkins is expected to step back into the starting lineup soon after missing the past three games with a shoulder injury. In Weeks 1 and 2 he was the Bucs' most productive pass-catcher, hauling in seven passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Seferian-Jenkins averages nearly 20 yards per reception, the most of any Buccaneer. He doesn't have a return date set in stone, but will be a welcome addition to the Bucs' offense when he does.
4. DE William Gholston
Gholston performed well enough in the first four games of the season to surpass George Johnson on the depth chart and earn a starting role at defensive end. He's proven to be versatile, playing both inside and outside, and has been one of the Bucs' best run defenders so far this season. Gholston could find himself in a few one-on-ones with opponents attempting to account for Gerald McCoy and Jacquies Smith, both of whom have 4+ sacks already.
5. CB Tim Jennings
Jennings has also climbed his way up the depth chart into a starting spot, surpassing Alterraun Verner in Week 4. Jennings has recorded 17 tackles, 12 of which were solo, and defended a pass since joining the Buccaneers at the start of the season. Jennings has also recovered a fumble.