Healthy Bucs: Banks, Smith, Stocker among many returning
The bye week allowed the Bucs to heal up several key players who had been hurting.
Cornerback Johnthan Banks (knee), center Evan Smith (ankle), tight end Luke Stocker (hip), WR Russell Shepard (hamstring) and safety Chris Conte (ankle) all returned to practice on Tuesday.
Two other players -- defensive tackle Akeem Spence (back), who had been on the physically unable to perform list, and right tackle Demar Dotson (knee), who had been on injured reserve-designated for return -- also made their first appearance on the practice field since the start of the regular season.
However, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) and guard Logan Mankins (groin) were held out of the portion of practice open to the media Tuesday. We'll have further updates following practice when coach Lovie Smith addresses the media.
Dotson, who suffered a knee sprain in the preseason, is not eligible to play for two more weeks but said he expects to be close to 100 percent by then.
“I’m excited about it. I get to practice for the first time and see how it goes,'' Dotson said. “I don’t think it’s where I want it to be but I’ve still got time. Two more weeks before I can play. By the time we come around there, I should be where I need to be.''
Banks, who sprained his knee at Houston in Week 3, said he is feeling better. "I feel pretty good. I’m ready to get out there and test it out,'' Banks said. "I’m excited to get back out there, to get back here. We had a few days off. Now to get back here around the guys, coming off a win a few weeks ago, the atmosphere is good. Everyone is excited to go up to Washington and get a win.''