After Saturday night’s game at Minnesota featured the injury to veteran right tackle Demar Dotson, the same mind boggling play from the offensive line lingered on.
Dotson’s injury was certainly unfortunate. At the same time, injuries are part of the game. But I do have to wonder why Dotson was still in the game late into the second quarter. Sure, I understand the argument that the team wanted to give Jameis Winston some first-team protection to some level. But the rest of the line were all reserves so how is one lineman going to boost the protection ability for the other four?
We still saw bad snaps. There were those getting beat in one-on-ones. There were breakdown in assignments.
Nothing has changed. But the depth is what struggled. Much like last season.
Credit is due to how the starters performed primarily. For the most part, there was good push up front on run plays and decent protection for Winston. Aside from rookie left tackle Donovan Smith getting beat and Dotson allowing his man to interrupt a pass, Winston seemed to stand tall in the pocket fairly well when the starters were in.
But behind them is scary. Yes, there were rookies on the line and second-year guys Kevin Pamphile and Kadeem Edwards are still rookies in a sense given their limited time last season. However, an entire offseason has gone by and although this was just the first game of the preseason, the struggle was still very apparent.
And now, with uncertainty surrounding Dotson’s injury, who knows how the play from the line looks like for the immediate future.