Tampa Bay defensive tackle Anthony “Booger” McFarland has been excused from the team’s past several practices due to his mother’s recent death, and on Thursday, head coach Jon Gruden excused McFarland from the team’s upcoming preseason game.

McFarland is scheduled to attend his mother’s funeral in Louisiana on Saturday, which is the same day as Tampa Bay’s exhibition contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I talked to Anthony a few days ago and I don’t expect him to play in this game,” said Gruden. “Obviously, it was a great tragedy and a sudden tragedy in his life. We all step back and realize how lucky we are to have health and be able to do what we do. He won’t play in the game. There’s going to be a funeral on Saturday in Louisiana. We’re praying for him. He lost a valuable member of what he’s all about. I can only sympathize with him.”

After wrapping up weeks of work in Orlando on Wednesday, the Buccaneers took the practice field for a workout at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday afternoon.

According to Gruden, the transition from Orlando to Tampa was a somewhat smooth one.

“It’s a credit to some of our staff for setting up the building late last night and early this morning,” said Gruden. “We’re glad to be home and we’re anxious to get on with it.”

Bucs left tackle Anthony Davis (thigh) was limited again on Thursday and will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday night. Guards Matt Stinchcomb and Sean Mahan practiced Thursday and will likely play against Jacksonville. Wide receiver Larry Brackins will play in the second half of the Bucs-Jags preseason game. Fullbacks Mike Alstott (stinger) and Rick Razzano (hamstring) will likely be game-time decisions.

Tampa Bay will hold a walk-thru on Friday at One Buccaneer Place. The Bucs play the Jacksonville Jaguars at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden when asked if he is as excited as rookie RB Cadillac Williams to see action on Saturday night:

“I’m done answering questions about him. He’s the least of my concerns. I’m excited to give him the ball. I’m also excited to determine who is going to be blocking for him when we play Minnesota, and I’m excited to see who his running mates are going to be. He’s going to be there. He’ll play some for our fans. They deserve to see him, and they should be the first to see him. We’re going to get that done on Saturday night.”

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