McCoy, Ayers, Martin, Sims among Bucs still not practicing
The Bucs held their final practice Saturday morning in preparation for Monday night's game at Carolina, with six players still sidelined with injuries and likely out against the Panthers.
That includes three starting defensive linemen: DT Gerald McCoy (calf) hasn't practiced all week, DE Robert Ayers (ankle) had only limited work on Thursday and DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) hasn't practiced since being limited by the hamstring in Thursday's drills. The team's top two running backs, Doug Martin (hamstring) and Charles Sims (knee) haven't practiced all week. WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) hasn't practiced in three weeks and will miss the game.
That's still not all that might be out Monday for the Bucs: DE Noah Spence (shoulder) practiced for the first time this week Saturday but said Thursday that he had dislocated his shoulder and suffered a slight tear to his labrum. CB Brent Grimes, who was limited Friday with a hamstring injury, was back at practice Saturday, as was backup center Evan Smith, who was limited Friday with a back injury.
Tight ends Luke Stocker (ankle) and Brandon Myers (hip) have now practiced three days in a row and should be able to play, as well as S Keith Tandy, who returned to practice Friday after being sidelined with a calf injury.
Depth concerns at running back and defensive line could force the Bucs to promote players from the practice squad to the live roster Monday, just to have insurance against injuries during the game. That could mean Russell Hansbrough is promoted as the third RB, or DT Rodney Coe or DE Ryan Russell is promoted as a seventh healthy defensive lineman, with the Bucs needing to make cuts to facilitate such promotions.