Justin Watson will step foot on an NFL field in the regular season for the first time Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was a healthy scratch in the first three games of the season as the sixth player on the depth chart at his position, but will suit up Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had elected to sit the former Penn star in favor of the more experienced Freddie Martino. Martino played mostly on special teams, but did take some snaps on offense, and was targeted once for an incomplete pass. Martino also made a tackle on special teams.
However, with the end of quarterback Jameis Winston’s suspension, Tampa needed to clear a roster spot. With the capable fifth-round pick waiting in the wings, the Bucs decided to cut Martino in favor of the younger Watson.
Watson’s activation will likely mean playing time on special teams and five-receiver sets. The Bucs could also bring Watson on for runs as a blocker. Fifth wide receivers rarely accumulate significant stats, but the decision shows that the team has high hopes for his development.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.