Bucs to play without WR Jackson, DE Smith, G Marpet
Three Bucs players -- WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DE Jacquies Smith (ankle) and G Ali Marpet (ankle) -- were again held out of practice Friday and have been ruled out Sunday's game against the Cowboys.
Safety D.J. Swearinger, out since last week with a toe injury, didn't practice Friday and is officially "doubtful" for Sunday. The biggest lingering question mark, injury-wise, remains TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has been practicing for three weeks but has remained inactive with a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since Week 2. Seferian-Jenkins has been listed as having "limited participation" in practice again this week, and Lovie Smith said earlier in the week that he hasn't completely recovered from the injury.
With Marpet out, the Bucs will stick with having former starting center Evan Smith at right guard, where he played most of last week's game in relief after Marpet sprained his ankle after just 10 plays. Smith's injury takes away the Bucs' best outside pass rusher -- first-year player Howard Jones started last week but had zero tackles, while another option is George Johnson, who still has no sacks after eight games.
Jackson has missed the last two games with his knee injury, but rookie Adam Humphries stepped up well last week, catching five passes for 55 yards. Fellow rookie Donteea Dye has also taken on a larger role in Jackson's absence.
The Bucs finished last week's game with only two healthy safeties -- those two, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy, were working with the first-team defense Friday. Bradley McDougald (concussion) and Major Wright (hamstring) have been limited in practice; if they can't play, the Bucs would have to dress Kimario McFadden, who was signed this week but hasn't been with the team since being cut at the end of preseason.