UPDATED: The Bucs took the practice field Friday to continue preparing for the undefeated Saints. The Bucs' injured players have official statuses for Sunday's game Bucs WR Antonio Bryant is probable, but CB Elbert Mack was added to the report and is questionable. The Saints have a number of starters out for the game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should enter Sunday's game vs. the undefeated New Orleans Saints almost completely healthy.
Bucs wide receiver Antonio Bryant practiced for the third straight day. That's a good sign since Bryant missed Tampa Bay's last two games with a lingering knee injury. The Bucs feel fairly confident that Bryant will play Sunday, but fans should still expect to see Maurice Stovall worked into the rotation.
"It's encouraging," Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said of Bryant. "There's no guarantee that nothing will happen overnight in regards to the knee, so we just have to be hopeful. It was encouraging for Antonio. He looked decent and as good as he's looked all year on the practice field."
Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib (hamstring), running back Cadillac Williams (knee), quarterback Byron Leftwich (elbow) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) had full participation in Friday's practice. They are listed as probable.
Bucs cornerback Elbert Mack was added to the injury report Friday after re-aggravating an ankle injury in practice. He is listed as questionable. Should Mack not be able to go, Bucs CB Torrie Cox would play nickel in his place against the Saints, who have the No. 1 offense in the NFL.
"He's been fighting it and he banged it again," said Morris. "New Orleans is a three-wide football team. They're comfortable running that and work a plethora of guys in. Elbert has been fighting through it. He's a tough young man. They all are. We'll see what happens."
When asked if safety Tanard Jackson, who played cornerback at Syracuse and has seen some action at corner in Tampa, would play at cornerback vs. the Saints, Morris suggested the team would like to leave him at his natural position.
The Saints have injury issues heading into this game, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
New Orleans running back Reggie Bush (knee) and defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis (knee) is questionable. Ruled out for the game is cornerback Jabari Greer (groin), cornerback Tracy Porter (knee), and wide receiver Lance Moore (ankle). Center Jonathan Goodwin (ankle), safety Darren Sharper (knee) and tight end David Thomas (knee) are all probable.
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