One of the prevailing reasons the Green Bay Packers felt comfortable allowing receiver James Jones to walk in free agency was Jarrett Boykin's breakthrough performance in 2013.
The former undrafted free agent stepped up in place of an injured Randall Cobb (10 games) to finish with 49 catches for 681 yards and three touchdowns. Although the Packers drafted Davante Adams in the second round, it was clear Boykin was being groomed for the No. 3 job early in the offseason program.
However, injury and inconsistency have caused that opportunity slip from Boykin's grasp. He's caught only three passes for 23 yards this season against three drops, according to Pro Football Focus.
His most recent drop against Buffalo was costly. The pop-up ended in Rambo's interception instead of possible points with the offense driving into Bills' territory. It was one of the Packers' seven dropped passes in the game.
"I think he's been consistent," McCarthy said. "I think you have to look at his whole body of work. You have to recognize what he's done on special teams. He's not getting as many opportunities as he did last year, and I think that's a part of the opportunities that have been presented to Davante."
Receivers coach Edgar Bennett declined to comment on the Packers' drops in Buffalo, deferring to McCarthy. But is he concerned about Boykin?
"He'll make the most of his opportunities when he gets in there," Bennett said. "Preparation right now is all about Tampa Bay, and that's really it."
• Davon House will miss his second consecutive games with the injury he suffered to the scapula bone in his right shoulder two weeks ago against Atlanta.
"Davon will not be available this week," McCarthy said. "We'll see how next week goes, but I know Dr. (Pat) McKenzie feels very good about the progress he's making."
Outside linebackers Clay Matthews (biceps), Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (shoulder), guards Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle), and running back Eddie Lacy (eye) are all probable to play against the Buccaneers.
• The Packers have signed safety Jean Fanor to the practice squad to fill the spot vacated by Chris Banjo upon his promotion to the 53-man roster last weekend. The Packers gave Banjo a one-year contract that'll pay him a little more than $87,000 for the final three regular-season games if he remains on the roster.