Gholston, Shepard join list of Bucs battling injuries
A short turnaround before Thursday's home game against Atlanta means limited time to recover from injuries, and the Bucs have two more players who could be sidelined in DE Will Gholston and WR Russell Shepard.
Gholston, the only Bucs starting defensive lineman not to miss a game this season, is dealing with a biceps injury suffered in Sunday's loss to the Raiders -- he had limited use of his right arm but played through the injury the rest of the way Sunday. Shepard, who has caught touchdowns in each of the last two games, is listed as having a hip injury -- he was leveled on a throw across the middle that saw Raiders safety Karl Joseph penalized 15 yards for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Gholston is one of the Bucs' best defenders against the run -- his 27 total tackles are easily the most among Bucs DLs -- and his absence would mean an elevated role for rookie DaVonte Lambert. If Shepard can't go Thursday, it hurts the Bucs on offense and on special teams, where he's been part of Tampa Bay's outstanding punt coverage as a gunner. The Bucs might have to elevate Donteea Dye from the practice squad so they'd have five healthy receivers against the Falcons, which would require a roster move to open up a spot for the promotion.
The Bucs will likely be without starting RB Jacquizz Rodgers, who suffered a foot sprain late in Sunday's game and had a boot on his left foot in the locker room Monday. They've already signed Mike James back to address that absence. Doug Martin, now out six weeks with a hamstring injury, was also listed as not participating Monday. DT Clinton McDonald, who has been back at practice for the past two weeks but still hasn't played due to his hamstring injury, was also limited Monday.