Entering the match between the Bucs Week 12 and the Colts, a big question mark loomed on the attack. With left guard Ali Marpet, reserve Aaron Stinnie will face Pro Bowler DeForest Buckner. On paper, it looks like a win for the Colts. So imagine the shaking when Stinnie got a knee injury. 10 more matches. The loss propelled Nick Leverett into his career’s first regular acting role.
Finally, Leverett has held over 57 snaps of his own. There are some ugly representations, especially in pass protection. He was hit for a sack by Buckner and surrendered to four pressures. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall score of 32.3 and pass defense of 7.8 (out of 100). But I grade them with a grain of salt. Leverett had a few great reps and generally looked pretty good in the run.
“I mean, we love Nick (Leverett),” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. “Nick won our hearts in training camp. He is a warrior. I think we played six minutes and lost the first four in this game. I said, ‘Okay, this is going to be a long story’. Devin (White) is back, but he’s not Devin, he’s back. To lose those guys, take your hat off. Nick will get a game ball, that’s for sure. ”
Hopefully Leverett won’t have to perform encore next week. The severity of Stinnie’s injury is unknown, but Marpet will be back soon. The Bucs’ star guard is placed on the suspect list against the Colts, and will have a good chance to play against Atlanta this Sunday. But if Stinnie is absent, Leverett will become the top backup defender on either side.
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