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Dolphins vs. Buccaneers: Who will see playing time in Week 1 preseason game

The Dolphins and Buccaneers will face off in Week 1 of NFL preseason on Saturday. We take a look at who’s likely to see playing time.

Miami Dolphins Mandatory Minicamp Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Update: Here are Tampa Bay’s inactives and it’s no surprise to see most of the key players sitting this one out.

Update: There won’t be “Tua Time” tonight in preseason action, as the Dolphins are holding out their starting quarterback. Tyreek Hill, Chase Edmonds and Jaylen Waddle are also going to be on the bench tonight.

The Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get their preseason started on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. This matchup comes just days after the Dolphins were punished for tampering with Tom Brady, and it remains to be seen who will be available for both teams as they decide how much or often star players will see the field.

Dolphins first-year head coach Mike McDaniel said he expects some starts to play but did not elaborate further, and Buccaneers first-year head coach Todd Bowles noted a lot of starters will not suit up on Saturday night.


Tua Tagovailoa has not seen a ton of success heading into Year 3 as the Dolphins quarterback, but McDaniel indicated he may sit this one out but will take snaps during the preseason. Brady is missing a few days due to a personal matter, and it was unlikely he would see the field in Game 1 of the preseason anyways.

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette is the top dog in the Tampa Bay backfield and due to the grind and wear and tear on running backs in a 17-game regular season, it seems unlikely he takes the field in this matchup, but that is not official. The Dolphins picked up a three new running backs this offseason with Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel, so it will be interesting to see how they show off their new running back room on Saturday night.

Wide Receivers

Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin tore his ACL toward the end of last season and is working his way back, Mike Evans left practice with a hamstring injury last week and Russell Gage is dealing with a minor injury, so there’s a good chance we won’t see any of them in this matchup. The Dolphins made some moves to help Tagovailoa as they traded for Tyreek Hill and signed Cedrick Wilson this offseason, and Jaylen Waddle is back after fantastic rookie season. It would be nice to see the trio in live game action, but that may not happen in Game 1.

Tight Ends

The Buccaneers will be without Rob Gronkowski, who made his second NFL retirement this offseason, and Tampa Bay signed veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph to join Cameron Brate at the position. The Dolphins and Mike Gesicki were unable to agree to a long-term deal, and it wouldn’t make a ton of sense on either side to risk injury in this matchup.