Ayers out with illness; right tackle remains question mark
Three days before the Bucs play a pivotal game at New Orleans, there are question marks on both sides of the line of scrimmage for Tampa Bay.
The Bucs will likely be without one starting defensive end as Will Gholston recovers from a dislocated elbow suffered in Sunday's loss at Dallas, and now the other starting end, Robert Ayers, missed Wednesday's practice due to illness.
On the offensive line, the team's top two options at right tackle are dealing with injuries -- starter Demar Dotson, who has missed the last two games, remains in concussion protocol though he was able to practice with limited participation Wednesday. Gosder Cherilus, who has stepped in for Dotson but struggled late in Sunday's loss, did not practice Wednesday due to groin and ankle injuries, and if both are unable to go, the Bucs would turn to undrafted rookie Leonard Wester, who has played two games as the "jumbo" tight end and played the final six snaps at right tackle Sunday after Cherilus was injured.
The Saints are dealing with injuries as well -- starting CB Delvin Breaux did not practice Wednesday due to a shoulder injury, nor did fullback John Kuhn (hip). LB Craig Robertson, who missed the first Bucs game two weeks ago, was limited by a shoulder injury, and C Max Unger, who also missed the Bucs game, was limited by a foot injury.