The regular season marks the culmination of an extensive investigation into who your team will be that year. By this point, you’ve gone through free agency, the draft, training camp, and the preseason. You feel good in your decisions insofar as you can create clarity without having played meaningful games. But there are still plenty of uncertainties that remain, whether at the start of the regular season or the end, and new ones continually develop over time.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Carlos Davis will start at nose tackle.
Explanation: With Carlos Davis appearing to be finally healthy enough to play after a long battle with a knee injury suffered back in Week 1, the second-year man looks to makes his 2021 return. Meanwhile, Montravius Adams tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, and Isaiah Buggs, who was recently injured, has not practiced in two days and is listed as questionable to play.
This couldn’t be a more obvious buy. There is nobody else available as a reasonable option. Montravius Adams was the only guy who has been playing there the past two weeks with any meaningful ability. Isaiah Buggs was demoted to the point that he was made inactive.
Carlos Davis is the last man who isn’t Henry Mondeaux standing. And they like Davis. He worked his way up the depth chart last year as a seventh-round rookie with no proper offseason from being a healthy scratch to being the backup nose tackle and rotational end. The only reason he hasn’t been playing a good number of snaps in year two is because he hasn’t been physically available.
It may seem like an obvious buy at first, but there are multiple alternatives to consider. First and foremost, with the newly-revised return-to-play protocols, Adams could test out and be available to play if he is vaccinated and tests negative today.
Second, this team has already started Cameron Heyward at nose tackle in a game when the going got tough before they poached Adams from the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. That’s another thing to consider. But then there’s Buggs, and getting benched doesn’t have to be permanent, especially when there are no desirable alternatives.
Davis has hardly played football this year. They can’t expect him to be up to full speed right away. My guess is that Buggs, if healthy, will start at nose tackle; and if not, Heyward and Mondeaux will log most of the snaps. Remember, Davis was off of reserve last week and wasn’t even on the injury report, and he still didn’t dress.