Tampa Bay CB Aqib Talib didn't practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's contest in Carolina. Bucs head coach Raheem Morris still is hopeful Talib, who leads the team in interceptions, will be able to play vs. the Panthers.
The 1-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be without one of their best players when they take on the 4-7 Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, who leads the team with five interceptions, didn't practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game due to a lingering hamstring injury that he aggravated in Atlanta last week.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris remains hopeful that Talib will be able to play through the hamstring injury, just as he has the past several weeks.
"He had the walk-thru earlier in the week and had some limited participation earlier in the week," Morris said of Talib. "He's kind of been the same way and the same status for the last five weeks or so. He actually had more practices in those weeks, but it was a similar deal. We really won't know what's going to happen with him until we wake up on Sunday."
Should Talib not be able to go Sunday, Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber likely would see more action vs. Panthers four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith, whom Talib helped limit to one catch for four yards on Oct. 18.
The Bucs would also call on Elbert Mack, Derrick Roberson and Brandon Anderson to help fill the void left by Talib in Tampa Bay's secondary.
One thing the Bucs are unlikely to do is move free safety Tanard Jackson to cornerback, a position he played at Syracuse.
"No, you hate to move a ‘A' player to another position," said Morris. "You like to leave those guys alone. That's just a general philosophy. If something happened and you were in a panic situation then he can do it."
Morris acknowledged the value Talib has to Tampa Bay's defense and hopes the first-round pick will be able to play in Carolina.
"I'm not sure how many defenses Talib wouldn't be the number one player on for what he does," said Morris. "He's a pretty talented guy. For what he's been able to do all year in terms of matching receivers and different guys. He's having a pretty productive year. He'd be heartbroken if he's not able to go."
Bucs wide receiver Michael Clayton (knee) and defensive lineman Michael Bennett (toe) have been ruled out of Sunday's game with their respective injuries.
Like Talib, rookie defensive tackle Roy Miller (ankle) and return specialist Clifton Smith (knee), who was added to the injury report Friday, are listed as questionable.
Bucs tackle Donald Penn (knee), wide receiver Maurice Stovall (thigh), tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) and defensive end Stylez G. White (hand) are listed as probable. Stovall likely will start in place of Clayton.
Speaking of White, Morris had the starting right defensive end run a few laps around the practice field at the conclusion of Friday's workout for committing a penalty.
White, who has 5.5 sacks on the season, didn't appear to be thrilled with the punishment and professed his innocence, but to no avail.
"We have a new policy with offsides penalties," said Morris. "He had to run some laps. Stylez didn't feel he was offsides. He felt he got back, but if you jump you jump, and you run ‘em.
"He wanted to whine about it instead of just running it. Ryan Sims jumped offsides today and he ran it. I mean he really ran it. I was proud of Sims. I let him know that these young guys are looking over there at that. He said it was embarrassing. It is embarrassing and he should be embarrassed."
The Panthers are banged up heading into Sunday's game as well. Quarterback Jake Delhomme (finger) has already been ruled out. He will be replaced by Matt Moore. In addition, defensive tackle Tank Tyler (knee) has also been ruled out of the game.
Wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett (ankle), defensive end Charles Johnson (pectoral) and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (concussion) are considered doubtful.
Running back DeAngelo Williams (ankle) is questionable for Sunday's game.
Panthers fullback Brad Hoover (ankle), running back Jonathan Stewart (Achilles), linebacker Na'il Diggs (ribs), wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad (knee) and guard Mackenzy Bernadeau (knee) are probable.
According to ProFootballTalk.com
, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was fined $7,500 dollars for taking off and throwing his helmet against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.
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