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Bucs Secondary Thin Vs. Panthers

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open the season on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, one of the NFL's most potent passing attacks led by quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Steve Smith, not having a secondary at full strength is less than ideal.

But that's the situation the Bucs find themselves in according to a Tampa Bay Times report as it appears that E.J. Biggers who is nursing a foot injury and Anthony Gaitor, recovering from a hamstring injury, won't be available to play.That said, Tampa Bay will have to get creative on Sunday:

While the Bucs will lean heavily on starters Aqib Talib (who will shadow receiver Steve Smith) and Eric Wright, but things get thin after that. The third cornerback likely will be Myron Lewis, who has been hot and cold through the preseason. Beyond him, the Bucs have just undrafted rookie Leonard Johnson and newcomer Brandon McDonald.

This game could present scenarios where the Bucs use safety Ronde Barber as a cornerback, particularly in the slot. It's been expected all along that Barber will still perform some of his cornerback duties despite moving to free safety and, perhaps, this is when we'll see that.

For updates on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head over to Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation as well as Carolina Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL hub.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.