Beat Writer & Videographer
UPDATED: with Friday injury reports.Head coach Raheem has said tight end Kellen Winslow will be a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Panthers.
Last week, tight end Kellen Winslow carried the Bucs’ flag out during introductions against his former team, the Cleveland Browns. This week, he may be sitting on the sidelines watching his teammates take on the Carolina Panthers. Winslow is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Winslow, 27, did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday following the Bucs’ 17-14 win over the Browns. On Friday, Winslow was limited in practice and is considered questionable heading into the Bucs’ first division game of the season.
Head coach Raheem Morris talked about why his former Pro Bowl tight end has not practiced until today.
“He’s been experiencing some pain,” said Morris. “You guys know what he does to manage pain everyday, and what he does to manage being able to play. So, we will get him to the game and he will be a game-time decision.”
Morris is not concerned with seeing Winslow on the practice field during the week. He just wants to see Winslow healthy and ready to go come Sundays.
“He was like that all 16 games last season,” said Morris. “He was out there and practicing, or participating, or he’s limited and he did everything he could to get out there and play for us. It worked out well for us so he is all about game-time and getting to the game.”
If Winslow is not able to play Sunday, it will be the fourth time in his seven-year career in which he was not able to play in all 16 regular season games.
“It’s the same battle he fights,” said Morris. “It’s nothing new. It’s the same battle that he has been fighting his whole career and we deal with it.”
Expect offensive coordinator Greg Olson to rely heavily on the two Williamses – Mike and Cadillac – to move the ball against the Panthers if Winslow is unable to play.
Another member of the offense that is questionable heading into this week’s game is running back Kareem Huggins. Huggins, who did not record a single carry last week, is suffering from a groin injury and has not been able to practice the last two days. Huggins is also questionable.
Morris said Huggins and Winslow are in similar situations regarding playing time on Sunday.
“He will be a game-time decision,” said Morris. “He will take the trip and we’ll see where he is when the game comes.”
On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Niko Koutouvides did not participate in practice today as well. Morris said that he does not foresee seeing his leading special teams tackler from last season on Sunday.
“I’m a little less optimistic about Niko without the practice today, but we will just have to see,” said Morris. After practice Koutouvides was ruled out of the game.
Bucs' quarterback Josh Freeman (thumb) and fullback Chris Pressley (knee) are probable.
The Carolina Panthers will be without one of their best run blockers. Tackle Jeff Otah (knee) is ruled out. Defensive tackle Louis Leonard (elbow) is doubtful. Defensive end Tyler Brayton (ankle), cornerback Chris Gamble (ankle), and linebacker Jordan Senn (ankle) are listed as questionable. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell (hamstring), running back Tyrell Sutton (shoulder), and quarterback Matt Moore (concussion) are all listed as probable.
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