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Bucs starters won’t play this week but will see action in final preseason game

Patrick Mahomes tells Peter King about how he looks back on Super Bowl LV, how his toe is recovering and what he does to improve over the offseason.

The Buccaneers and Cowboys open the regular season in Tampa on Sept. 9 on NBC. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he will rest his starters in the final preseason game Aug. 29 to get his team ready.

“To me, the fourth game is for the players who are competing for the final roster spots,” McCarthy said. “That’s what I believe in, and that’s definitely the case for us this year.”

Different strokes for different folks.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians said his plan is to rest his starters this week against Tennessee and play them in the final preseason game Aug. 28 against the Texans.

“Looking at the two practices [against Tennessee] – as good as I know they’ll go physicality-wise – we probably won’t play any starters,” Arians said, via Scott Reynolds of “I don’t really want to put our starters back in [along the offensive line] or put them in at all. The offensive line might play in this game only by necessity. We’ll see how that goes.”

Arians’ reasoning makes sense: He doesn’t want his starters going 19 days between game action. If they play in the final preseason game, they still will have 12 days before the season opener. (Of course, last year, teams had no preseason games before the season opener.)

“We’ll play that by ear, but my plan right now is to play them a significant amount in that [final preseason] ballgame, because we don’t play for two weeks after,” Arians said. “I know our guys don’t want to hit each other for 10 days, so we’ll probably play them more in that game than any.”

The Bucs played their starters for six snaps on both sides of the ball in their preseason opener Saturday.