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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' Aqib Talib will play and match up against Dez Bryant



Aqib Talib, held out of Sunday's game at Jacksonville with a hamstring strain, will return to action on Saturday night against the Cowboys and take on the Bucs' biggest defensive assignment.

Coach Raheem Morris confirmed the plan is to have Talib return to the lineup against Dallas and take on the challenge of covering star wideout Dez Bryant. Talib didn't practice today, but that decision was made out of an abundance of caution.

"I sat Aqib down today," Morris said. "He had two hard days of work (on Tuesday and Wednesday). We got him going and got him running. We really didn’t want to push envelope too much, give him a little bit of rest. . . He’ll be able to go against a premier receiver in this league, or one (who is) about to become one, if he’s not already known as one. It’s a pretty good player he’s going to line up against this week."

The matchup with Bryant has Talib anticipating Saturday's game.

"I'm ready," Talib said. "I'm feeling good. I'm always looking forward to covering the other team's best receiver."

Though Morris didn't specify, his statements suggest Talib will follow Bryant all night, rather than having the Bucs' cornerbacks switch based on where the Cowboys' receivers line up.

In other injury news, Morris said receiver Arrelious Benn is cleared after his concussion, but Benn did not practice and the Bucs remain non-committed to playing him against Dallas. Defensive tackle Brian Price, who has a pair of sore ankles, returned to practice and could play.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 3:06pm]


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