Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said that top cornerback Carlton Davis III would be a game-time decision due to a groin injury that he suffered in the second half of the team’s 31-27 win at Atlanta on Sunday. Davis’ injury has kept him out of practice all week. Should Davis be unavailable, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting would be the starters outside with veteran Ross Cockrell playing inside the slot in nickel defense.
“We finished the half with the group that’s going to start if he can’t go,” Arians said. “He’s going to be a game-time decision, so we’ve got at least a half of football and we’ve got a lot of movable parts – guys on defense that can play a number of positions.”
Reserve safety Mike Edwards also has experience playing inside at nickel, and could replace Cockrell there if he’s needed as an outside cornerback. Arians has really appreciated the quality play Cockrell, who has seven tackles on the year, has brought to the Bucs since the seven-year pro signed with the team on September 23.
Bucs CBs Carlton Davis III and Ross Cockrell – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Ross Cockrell has been a surprise,” Arians said. “We knew he was a good player. I’ve played against him, but he’s really good and he’s been a great addition to our ball club.”
Arians also said the Bucs would make a roster move if Davis can’t go on Saturday.
“We won’t be short-handed,” Arians said. “Herbie Miller – if Carlton is down Herbie Miller will come up from the practice squad.”
Arians also ruled out running back Ronald Jones II, who will miss his second straight game due to COVID-19 protocols.
“He’s out,” Arians said. “He can’t get through the protocols in time.”
Donovan Smith, who missed last week’s game at Atlanta due to COVID-19 protocols, will return at start at left tackle Saturday in Detroit.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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