All Signs Point To Baker Mayfield Over Kyle Trask Starting For Buccaneers, But Todd Bowles Says Decision Hasn’t Been Made

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One of the more interesting position battles in the NFL this preseason is Baker Mayfield vs. Kyle Trask. The two quarterbacks are fighting to start the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 1 game in Minnesota against the Vikings. Head coach Todd Bowles says he hasn’t made a decision, yet.

But all signs point to Mayfield starting and Trask serving as the backup.

Kyle Trask started the Buccaneers preseason game against the New York Jets on Saturday. He played the entire first half. John Wolford took over but suffered a serious injury and left the field on a stretcher.

Bowles elected to send Trask back into the game to replace Wolford, rather than use Mayfield. So Trask played nearly the entire preseason game. That’s not a great sign for someone fighting for the No. 1 quarterback job.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield are battling to be the team's #1 starter for head coach Todd Bowles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield are battling to be the team’s #1 starter for head coach Todd Bowles. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After the game, Bowles explained that he didn’t want Mayfield playing behind backup offensive linemen. Also not great news for Trask, who Bowles apparently had no issues sending out there with replacement linemen in front of him.

“Trask was warmer at the time, and we took out the line and he was ready to go,” Bowles said, according to “We were going to play Baker at the end of the half, but we wanted to see Kyle in the two-minute period, so kind of left him in and then the time kind of went down.

“We wanted to play John in the second half, it wasn’t fair to put Baker in there without the line he had, and Trask was already warmed up so when John got hurt, we just put him back in to finish.”

Still, Bowles declined to name a starter.

“We’ll name it when we name it. We feel comfortable with where we’re at, so we’ll go from there,” he said.

Trask made some nice throws in the game against the Jets. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown.

Kyle Trask spoke after the game about the competition between himself and Baker Mayfield.

Though Trask played well and led the team to a 13-6 victory, the decision is seemingly made. Bowles appears to be more comfortable starting veteran Baker Mayfield to start the season as the team ultimately tries to replace future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

That makes sense, quite honestly. Mayfield is better-equipped to handle that transition. Plus, if Mayfield struggles, the team can easily replace him with Trask.

But if they started Trask and had to bench him in favor of Mayfield, there’s probably no going back.

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Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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  1. Trask performed well considering the outclassed line that couldn’t run block or pass protect, and about 4 drops from his wideouts. At the least, the Bucs can have a quick hook for Mayfield if he does Mayfield things in the regular season. Which he most certainly will.

    All signs point towards Trask being given the starting nod at some point.

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