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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bruce Carter, Akeem Spence in boots, likely out Thursday

Linebacker Bruce Carter left Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Linebacker Bruce Carter left Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

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December

Middle linebacker Bruce Carter and defensive tackle Akeem Spence, two defensive starters who left Sunday's game with ankle injuries, were both wearing boots on their injured feet at Tuesday's practice, which means they likely aren't playing in Thursday's game at the Rams.

With Carter sidelined, the Bucs had Danny Lansanah working at middle linebacker -- he would be their third different starter in as many games at the position, though he stepped in at the position last year as well. With Spence sidelined and Clinton McDonnald already on injured reserve, the Bucs will lean more heavily on Tony McDaniel and Henry Melton at defensive tackle.

Receiver Vincent Jackson, potentially missing multiple games with a sprained knee, did not practice Tuesday, nor did left guard Logan Mankins, who played through an ankle injury in Sunday's game and is still likely to play Thursday.

Two defensive ends who have missed multiple games with injuries -- starter Jacquies Smith (hamstring) and backup George Johnson (calf) -- were back at practice Tuesday, a promising step toward their healthy return.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 4:03pm]

    

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