Tampa Bay center Jeff Faine (elbow) and safety Tanard Jackson (knee) were limited in practice on Christmas Eve. Both players are nursing injuries heading into the Bucs' game in New Orleans. PewterReport.com has the latest injury news, plus Raheem Morris' thoughts on new WR Mark Bradley, in this article.
The 2-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the practice field at One Buc Place Thursday in preparation for the 13-1 New Orleans Saints.
The Bucs conducted Thursday's practice earlier than normal to give the players and coaches time to spend with their families on Christmas Eve.
Several players were limited during Thursday's workout, including Bucs center Jeff Faine, safety Tanard Jackson and wide receivers Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton.
Faine was added to Tampa Bay's injury report Thursday due to soreness in his right elbow, which got banged up in the Bucs' game in Seattle. With Faine limited, Bucs rookie Jonathan Compas took the majority of reps at center.
"He's day-to-day," Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said of Faine. "We got to go out there and play. [Jonathan] Compas is out there getting his reps, and [Faine] is limited. We just have to get him out there and see what he can do on Sunday."
Faine, who played with the Saints before joining the Bucs as a free agent in 2008, missed four games earlier in the year due to a biceps injury. Morris said Faine has played this season.
"He's played well since he came back off that injury," said Morris. "I wouldn't say that he's been hurt by anything. He's played pretty good. His accuracy has been there as far as his precision on the blitzes and the pickups, and the things he needs to do and the communication he needs to do. He's been fairly good."
Jackson was limited in practice for the second straight day. He has four interceptions on the season despite missing the first four regular season games due to suspension. Morris seemed confidence that Jackson would be able to play against New Orleans' No. 1-ranked offense, which is led by quarterback Drew Brees.
With Bryant (groin) and Clayton (knee) limited in practice for the second straight day, Morris took the opportunity to discuss the addition of former Kansas City Chiefs WR Mark Bradley, whom the team claimed off waivers Wednesday.
The former second-round pick isn't likely to see action vs. the Saints on Sunday, but the Bucs are taking a hard look at the 6-foot-1, 207-pound receiver over the final two weeks of the season to determine how he might fit into their plans in 2010.
"It was an opportunity to get a guy that was highly picked. He was a guy we liked coming out in the draft," Morris said of Bradley. "The opportunity to get a look here in these last two weeks and let him present himself. Get him in here, let him get an opportunity, see what he's got, see if we can get a steal and save some draft picks."
Bradley caught Tampa Bay's eye during the Bucs' 30-27 win over the Chiefs last year. Bradley caught four passes for 65 and threw a 37-yard pass for a touchdown in that contest.
"It is kind of hard to see [his explosiveness] today. He is reading the [scout team] card right now and going out there and giving us a look," Morris said. "You can see him run down the field in stride and things of that nature, but you can see the explosiveness when he caught that reverse pass on us last year and threw it  yards. He was the guy in Kansas City last year that struck us, so we are a little pissed off at him. [Bucs cornerback] Ronde [Barber] beat him up this morning in the training room."
The good news for the Bucs is tight end Kellen Winslow, the team's leading receiver, and tight end John Gilmore (illness) had full participation during Thursday's practice. In addition, Bucs running back Cadillac Williams was removed from the injury report after being held out of Wednesday's workout as part of a team decision.
New Orleans ruled S Usama Young (hip/abdomen) out of Sunday's game. The Saints had several players limited in Thursday's practice, including CB Randall Gay (concussion), RB Reggie Bush (hamstring), T Jermon Bushrod (thumb), TE Darnell Dinkins (foot), DT Sedrick Ellis (knee), G Jahri Evans (toe), LB Scott Fujita (knee), C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle), CB Jabari Greer (groin), DE Bobby McCray (back), TE Jeremy Shockey (toe), T Jon Stinchcomb (knee) and LB Jonathan Vilma (knee).
Saints S Darren Sharper (knee), LB Scott Shanle (concussion) and WR Lance Moore (ankle) were held out of Thursday's practice.
Tampa Bay is scheduled to conduct its Friday practice in the late afternoon in order to give its players and coaches time to spend with their families on Christmas Day. The Bucs and Saints will announce the official status of each of their injured players on Friday.
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