The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are quite banged up heading into their Week 3 contest vs. the Carolina Panthers.
The Bucs took the practice field Friday without several players, including guard Davin Joseph (knee), cornerback Brian Kelly (foot), tight end/long snapper Dave Moore (rib) and linebacker Ryan Nece (knee).
Joseph and Moore have been ruled out of Sunday’s contest, and Kelly and Nece are very questionable for Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium.
Kelly, who missed last Sunday’s game with a degenerative turf toe injury, has consulted specialists regarding the degenerative foot condition, and although he hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game, the Bucs believe a long break could give Kelly time to heal.
“We’re hoping to gets better quickly here,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “It’s a toe injury that hasn’t healed for some time. All we can do is hope time heals it. Whether or not he goes Sunday remains to be seen. We do have a bye week and we’re hoping some time off the foot heals it.”
If Nece, who started all 16 regular season games on the strong side last year, can’t play Sunday due to his knee injury, the Bucs have a couple of different contingency plans they’re considering.
“We’ll announce that at game time, whether we reshuffle and go with Barrett Ruud in the middle and move Shelton [Quarles} outside, or go with Jamie Winborn,” said Gruden. “We’ll decide that once we have all of the information. We have to see if Ryan is indeed out of his football game. If he is, we’ll make that decision at game time.”
Three of Tampa Bay’s starting defensive linemen – defensive tackles Anthony McFarland (hip) and Chris Hovan (ankle), and defensive end Simeon Rice (knee) – are listed as questionable on the injury report, but all three players practiced on Friday.
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