McCoy back at practice, but Martin, Ayers, McDonald still out
The Bucs got defensive tackle Gerald McCoy back at practice Wednesday, but are still without three key players -- RB Doug Martin, DE Robert Ayers and DT Clinton McDonald -- as they prepare for Sunday's game at the 49ers.
McCoy, who was sidelined from the Bucs' win against Carolina with a calf injury, would be a major boost for the Bucs' defensive line, which could still be without two starters in McDonald (hamstring) and Ayers (ankle). Martin hasn't played since Week 2, when he injured his hamstring in a loss at Arizona, and his absence would leave the Bucs again without their Pro Bowl running back while facing a 49ers defense that gave up 312 rushing yards in a loss to Buffalo on Sunday.
WRs Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and Louis Murphy (knee) both practiced again Wednesday as they recover from injuries -- Shorts has been out since the Arizona game, and Murphy returned to practice this week for the first time since ACL surgery in November.
If Martin can't go, the Bucs will again rely on Jacquizz Rodgers as their starter. Rodgers had career highs of 30 carries and 101 yards in the win at Carolina, and the Bucs have signed veteran Antone Smith to add experience with rookie Peyton Barber as the only other backup.