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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' CB Verner likely to make preseason debut vs. Bills



What does cornerback Alterraun Verner have in common with Darrelle Revis?

Aside from being Pro Bowl players at the same position, there's this: Like Revis with Tampa Bay last season, Verner was starting to look like he might not play in any preseason games.

The Titans free agent injured his hamstring on the third day of training camp. Although he began individual drills last week, Verner will get some reps with the starting defense in practice this week in hopes of playing Saturday at Buffalo.

In 2013, Revis was recoveriing from a torn ACL and did not play in the preseason. Bucs coach Lovie Smith said starters will play into the third quarter this week and that it is important to get Verner some game time in the secondary.

"This is the week that we’re gearing towards,’’ Smith said. “First off, the guys that line up with the first group, there’s a reason why they’re there. It’s not like we’re going to do an awful lot that last preseason game. So, for our players, if they’re going to play against Carolina [in the regular-season opener], we need to see them right now. If they’re not out there, we’re in a hole a little bit. Alterraun Verner, it’s important that he get out there and starts playing our defense and seeing his role and getting comfortable. That’s why we’re excited about getting him on the football field.’’

In addition to Verner, the Bucs have had injuries in the secondary including Mike Jenkins and Rashaan Melvin.


[Last modified: Monday, August 18, 2014 4:21pm]


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