The Buccaneers took the practice field at One Buccaneer Place on Thursday with two of the four starters that were held out of Wednesday’s workout.

Running back Michael Pittman (shoulder) and center John Wade (ankle) both returned to practice. Wade is listed as probable on the injury report, but Pittman remains questionable.

Linebacker Derrick Brooks was held out of practice for the second straight day with a hamstring injury. However, Bucs head coach Jon Gruden is confident that Brooks will be ready to play vs. the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

“We held Derrick Brooks today, [but] we think he’ll play,” said Gruden. “He’s probably going to go a little bit tomorrow.”

Safety Dexter Jackson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report.

Bucs Sign FB Razzano To Practice Squad
Just one day after releasing him from the active roster, Tampa Bay signed rookie fullback Rick Razzano to its practice squad on Thursday.

Razzano, who entered the NFL in April as a seventh-round draft pick out of Ole Miss, has been released twice from the Bucs active roster this season. But a vacancy was created on the team’s practice squad on Tuesday after the Denver Broncos signed S Hamza Abdullah to their active roster.

“He’s a guy who will continue to work and hopefully make the team someday,” Gruden said of Razzano.

Bucs Continue To Prepare For Panthers
Tampa Bay and Carolina are in a three-way tie with the Atlanta Falcons for first place in the NFC South division. All three teams have produced 5-2 records thus far.

The Bucs are coming off a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers while the Panthers have put together a four-game winning streak.

Carolina has had Tampa Bay’s number over the past two seasons. The Panthers have defeated the Bucs four straight times. One can probably expect a close game on Sunday, though. Three of Tampa Bay’s past four losses to Carolina have come by a total of 13 points.

To beat the Panthers, Gruden suggested the Bucs would have to play a solid game in front of their home crowd on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to play a great football game,” said Gruden. “We’ve got to get some field position and we’ve got to take advantage of the field position that we do get. We’ve got to be balanced on offense. We’ve got to find some way to run the football again. And we can’t turn the ball over and have multiple sacks. So Chris Simms has to play much better and certainly our ability to run the ball offensively is critical. Defensively we’ve got to shut down the run and make some plays obviously in the turnover game. We’ve got to return to that. Special teams, we’ve got to get some return yards of our own. We’ve got to play a great game to beat the Carolina Panthers, I’ll say that.”

Cadillac Is Back?
Tampa Bay rookie RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who missed two straight games with a foot/hamstring injury, is no longer listed on the team’s injury report and appears to be getting his groove back just in time for the game vs. the Carolina Panthers, who have the No. 2-ranked run defense in the NFL.

“I’ll say this about Carnell Williams, he was back today,” Gruden said. “That was probably the most exciting thing that happened to me this week and in the last couple weeks – Carnell Williams had a great day today.”

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