Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has replaced Josh Freeman as starter, and will make his NFL debut on Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers have started 0-3, and earlier this week head coach Greg Schiano chose the rookie ahead of Freeman, whose completed 45.7 percent of his passes to start the season.
Freeman has since requested a trade, and will reportedly be the third inactive quarterback on the Buccaneers bench on Sunday.
Glennon totaled 62 passing touchdowns in his final two years at N.C. State, and was a third round draft choice for Tampa Bay back in April. He’ll have consistent weapons against Arizona in Vincent Jackson and Mike Wallace, but it’s difficult to gauge how Glennon will respond in his first start. Running back Doug Martin is second in the NFL with 297 rushing yards, and should get plenty of touches ahead of the rookie passer.
Glennon will face a 1-2 Cardinals squad that’s currently ranked 26th against the pass, and allowed seven passing touchdowns in three games despite a solid young core of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary.
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Last week the New Orleans Saints torched Arizona for 342 yards and three touchdowns in the air for a 31-7 loss. It wasn’t due to a lack of effort or dedication that Arizona lost, with safety Rashad Johnson severing the tip of his left middle finger on a punt return and continuing to play. He’s questionable for Sunday’s matchup against the Bucs.
Quarterback Carson Palmer largely failed to connect with his receivers, going 18-for-35 for 187 yards, and receiver Larry Fitzgerald had five catches for 64 yards. After three games in Arizona, Palmer is fourth in the NFL with four picks, and has been sacked nine times.
However Fitzgerald has played hurt with a depleted running back corps thats gaining just 86.3 yards per game, 23rd in the league. The veteran wide out fully participated in his practice earlier this week for first time in weeks, a strong sign that 1-2 Arizona could start to turn things around.
The game starts at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by FOX, or watch a live online stream by purchasing NFL Game Access here.
Betting Odds: Tampa Bay is favored by 2.5 points.
Over/Under: 40.5 points
Prediction: Arizona 24, Tampa Bay 10