TAMPA — Already without two of their top receivers, the Bucs aren't likely to get a boost in the passing game Sunday at Atlanta from the return of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Though he practiced on a limited basis this week for the first time since injuring his shoulder Sept. 20 against the Saints, Seferian-Jenkins' chances of facing the Falcons seemed remote, at best, coach Lovie Smith said.
"Austin Seferian-Jenkins has gotten work done but not to the point where I'm going to say he's for sure playing and all of that," Smith said Friday.
The Bucs are expected to be without WR Vincent Jackson, who did not practice this week after injuring his knee Sunday at Washington. In that game, WR Louis Murphy tore his right ACL.
LG Logan Mankins was back practicing after a maintenance day off Thursday. Backup T Reid Fragel practiced for the first time since he sustained a concussion in practice last week but is out for the game. The team will be without two of its top defensive tackles, Clinton McDonald and Tony McDaniel, neither of whom practiced this week. S Major Wright, who injured his hamstring in practice this week, is doubtful for Sunday.
"The guys who practiced on a limited basis, which was Gerald McCoy, Logan, Russell Shepard and Evan Smith, have all been able to go through most of the practice," Smith said.
YOUNGRY DBs COACH: The Bucs will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline Sunday. Former head coach Raheem Morris is in his first year as the passing game coordinator for the Falcons.
Atlanta coach Dan Quinn was on the coaching staff at Hofstra when Morris played defensive back and later coached there.
"We grew up not far from each other," Quinn said. "I grew up in Morristown, N.J., and he grew up in Irvington. Through the years we've had a great connection and I knew if I ever had an opportunity to lead a team and (there) was any chance that he could be here and do it with me, I'd want to take that opportunity.
" He's (been) a real factor for us, especially defensively. The tackling, the takeaways, all the things from a philosophy standpoint that we want to stand for defensively, he's had a real impact on."
Contact Rick Stroud at [email protected] and listen from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-AM 620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow @NFLStroud.