Buccaneers to start A.Q. Shipley at center vs. Panthers

On the heels of a frustrating offensive performance, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is shaking up his offensive line in Week 10.

A.Q. Shipley will start at center for the Bucs on Sunday vs. the Panthers while Ryan Jensen will slide over at left guard, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports, per a source. The hope is that communication increases across the line with an Arians favorite in Shipley.

The Bucs O-line gave up three sacks and surrendered nine QB hits of Tom Brady in the team’s 34-3 blowout loss to the Saints last Sunday night. On an overall bad day, Arians thought its protection was by far the worst aspect of the defeat, however, one absence up front will remain missing on Sunday and Arians decided to make a change now.

Left guard Ali Marpet (concussion) has already been ruled out vs. Carolina, and his absence last week created issues along the left side of the line between tackle Donovan Smith and guard Joe Haeg, as NFL Network’s James Palmer noted Sunday.

It will be the first start this season for the 34-year-old Shipley, who signed with Tampa this offseason and was Arians’ starting center for a few years while in Arizona. Jensen, who has started all nine games at center this year, will make his first start at the guard position since signing with the Bucs two seasons ago. Jensen has experience at guard during his time in Baltimore.

Perhaps Arians’ decision to shake things up will offer a wake-up call for the Bucs offense as a whole. Facing Carolina might be a good start to seek change, as the Panthers rank 29th in the NFL with just 10 ten sacks this season.

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