Williams and Jackson still not practicing; will they play?
For the second straight day, the Bucs top two receivers - Mike Williams (hamstring) and Vincent Jackson (ribs) - did not participate in practice.
But Williams indicated Thursday he plans to play Sunday against the Cardinals; he quipped he's never going to miss a start, before knocking on the wooden wall of his locker.
As for Williams' Pro Bowl teammate, Vincent Jackson, Williams appeared optimistic about him, too.
"Batman will be back," Williams said, smiling. "You know Robin is going to be there; I'm Robin, he's Batman."
With rookie QB Mike Glennon making his first NFL regular season start Sunday, having that dynamic duo available will be extremely important. No team in the league has been as reliant on their main two receivers as the Bucs this season. The Bucs haven't had a tight end presence, with Tom Crabtree (ankle) still limited. In Williams and Jackson's absence, WRs Kevin Ogletree, Eric Page and Russell Shepard have been taking the reps in practice; only Ogletree had an NFL catch before last week.
Coach Greg Schiano said that "anytime you're not practicing, you're in danger," of missing a game. But Schiano didn't appear concerned that, if Jackson and Williams can go, they won't have got a lot of practice time with Glennon this week.
"Right now you've got to go with the guys you're practicing with," Schiano said. "If Vincent and Mike are well, they'll play. They have cumulative reps together. Would it be better if they had the whole week together? Sure. But it's often that you dont get reps with guys because that's the nature of the beast.
Page, who has been the team's primary kick and punt returner, stepped in last week due to injuries and had three catches for 55 yards. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound rookie said he's getting more comfortable in the system, and ready to step in if needed.
"I thought he did some good things," Schiano said of Page. "He's getting better every day, he's made constant improvement which is what he needs to do as a rookie."