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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

RB Martin back, but Banks among four Bucs out

2

October

Bucs RB Doug Martin, held out of Thursday's practice after injuring his knee in Wednesday's drills, was back with a helmet on at Friday's practice, an encouraging sign he will be able to play in Sunday's home game against Carolina.

"It's fine. I'll be perfect for Sunday," Martin said after practice.

And while Martin returned, four Bucs did not Friday and are unlikely to play after missing practice all week: CB Johnthan Banks, C Evan Smith and TEs Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Luke Stocker.

Coach Lovie Smith stopped short of ruling any of the four out for Sunday, but said "if a guy doesn't practice on a Friday, you can draw your own conclusions."

Banks played only 10 snaps on Sunday's loss at Houston, so it's likely the Bucs would start Mike Jenkins in his place -- Jenkins had nearly twice as many snaps in Houston as Alterraun Verner while filling in for Banks. With Smith missing a second straight game, the Bucs will start Joe Hawley, who stepped in well last week as the line didn't allow a sack against the Texans.

The injuries at tight end leave the Bucs with only two tight ends in Brandon Myers and Cameron Brate, though Lovie Smith said Thursday they may just adjust their personnel rather than promote a third tight end onto the roster. With Banks out, the Bucs may need to add a fourth healthy cornerback -- rookie Jude Adjei-Barimah, who is on the practice squad, was working as a gunner in special-teams drills Friday.

The Bucs players who had been listed as "limited" Thursday -- DT Gerald McCoy, LT Donovan Smith and S Major Wright -- all practiced as normal Friday and appear fine to play Sunday.

[Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2015 1:31pm]

    

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