Bucs still waiting on WR Jackson, TE Seferian-Jenkins
TAMPA --Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has already missed seven straight games with his shoulder injury and WR Vincent Jackson has now missed three with a knee injury, but both are questionable again for Sunday's game in Philadelphia.
"We are making progress -- the list is shrinking," coach Lovie Smith said after Friday's practice. "Austin Seferian-Jenkins still hasn't been cleared for full contact ... We have 48 hours or so before the game. Once you get close, every hour counts. As soon as Vince is ready to go, we're ready for him. ... I think you all have seen him run around. He's getting closer, which is right on schedule. Hopefully he'will be able to (play), but we'll see."
Jackson declined to comment after Friday's practice, but stayed late to work with rookie QB Jameis Winston and other receivers. Another injured starter, rookie RG Ali Marpet, is also questionable after missing last week's game with an ankle injury; his replacement, Evan Smith, is also questionable with a knee injury, though he returned and played the entire second half last week after the injury.
VERY THIN: The Bucs have already added two rookies and a veteran at defensive end this season, and with three players at the position uncertain due to injuries, Tampa Bay may have to promote another rookie for Sunday's game at the Eagles.
The only player ruled out for Sunday is George Johnson, who left last week's game with a calf injury and hasn't practiced all week. But starter Jacquies Smith is questionable to miss a third straight game with an ankle injury, and rookie Josh Shirley is doubtful due to calf injury that popped up Thursday, leaving only three healthy ends for sure -- starter Will Gholston, first-year pro Howard Jones and veteran Lawrence Sidbury, who was signed this week.
"(Smith) is getting closer and that's encouraging," coach Lovie Smith said. "Our rush hasn't been exactly what we would like for it to be, so we need a guy like that back as soon as possible."
The Bucs have yet to fill the 53rd and final spot on their roster, and will likely do so from the practice squad on Saturday. That could be DE Martin Ifedi if Tampa Bay needs depth there, or could be rookie LB Josh Keyes this week, who was with the team in preseason and could help on special teams.
Safety Major Wright, who has been inactive the last two games with a hamstring injury, is probable for Sunday and likely active following the release of D.J. Swearinger on Monday.