The Bucs are inching closer and closer to getting a healthier starting roster down the stretch. They announced on Wednesday that they have opened the 21-day practice window for cornerback Carlton Davis III to come back from injured reserve. Tampa Bay also signed receiver John Hurst to the practice squad to replace Jaydon Mickens.
CB Carlton Davis begins a 21-day window during which he can be activated to the roster. Also, we've brought WR John Hurst back to the practice squad.#GoBucs
That gives Davis until December 15 to be activated to the 53-man roster. His most likely chance of a return would come in Week 13 on the road against the Falcons or Week 14 in what’s arguably the best game that week as the Bucs host the Bills.
Davis has been out since suffering a quad injury against the Patriots in Week 4. He is the number one corner in Tampa Bay’s secondary and is playing on the last year of his rookie deal.
Tampa Bay looks like it’s getting some of its top players back, as receiver Antonio Brown and defensive tackle Vita Vea could play this Sunday against the Colts. But it’s been Tampa Bay’s secondary that’s really been through the ringer. The Bucs have had to use eight different players at cornerback this year.
Starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting returned on Monday Night Football after an elbow injury in Week 1. Head coach Bruce Arians had given updates that Davis had been progressing in his rehab, and he could even be seen running individually with trainers last week.
Following the Bucs’ 30-10 win over the Giants on Monday night, Arians complimented Murphy-Bunting for his performance in his return, but also hinted that he can’t wait to have Davis back in the lineup.
“If we can just get Carlton back, we’ll be even better,” Arians said.
On the next question, he doubled down when discussing all the injuries the Bucs are going through.
“Like I said, if we start to be able to have Carlton back, A.B. back and have Vita back and hopefully Ali (Marpet) is not hurt too bad and continue to get healthy rather then get hurt,” Arians said. “Health is going to be the whole key going the whole way down the rest of the way.”
Davis had 15 tackles, five pass breakups and an interception in four games before his injury. The Bucs next game is on the road against the Colts at 1:00 p.m. ET