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Bucs' Doug Martin says he's 'perfect for Sunday'

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin runs against the Texans in Sunday’s game.

EVE EDELHEIT I Times

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin runs against the Texans in Sunday’s game.

TAMPA — 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, confident he will be able to play in Sunday's home game against Carolina.

"It's fine. I'll be perfect for Sunday," said Martin, who was upgraded to limited participation and listed as questionable for Sunday.

And while Martin returned, four other players did not Friday and are unlikely to play after missing practice all week: CB Johnthan Banks (knee), C Evan Smith (ankle) and TEs Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) and Luke Stocker (hip) were all listed as doubtful.

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

The team had one new injury to report — WR Russell Shepard was limited by a hamstring injury and is questionable.

Banks played only 10 snaps in Sunday's loss at Houston, so it's likely Mike Jenkins would start 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, Joe Hawley, who stepped in last week as the line didn't allow a sack against the Texans, will start.

The injuries at tight end leave the team with only two, Brandon Myers and Cameron Brate, though Lovie Smith said Thursday that they might adjust their personnel rather than promote a third tight end to the roster. With Banks out, the team might 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.

Three Bucs listed as limited Thursday — DE George Johnson (neck), LT Donovan Smith (knee) and S Major Wright (abdomen) — were upgraded to full participation and are questionable for Sunday. So, too, is DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder), who remained limited Friday.

BACK AGAIN: Bucs rookies continue to garner leaguewide honors, with LB Kwon Alexander voted rookie of the week, one week after QB Jameis Winston earned the honor.

Alexander, a fourth-round pick from LSU who has played every defensive snap in the team's first three games, had 10 tackles in the loss at Houston, as well as his first career interception.

The Bucs won the weekly honor just five times from 2002-14 — three by Cadillac Williams in 2005 — and this is the first time two different Bucs have won the honor in the same season.

Alexander, who leads all NFL rookies with 23 tackles in three games, is the lowest-drafted player to win the honor since undrafted Branden Oliver of the Chargers in Week 6 of last season. Teammates hadn't won in consecutive weeks since the Chargers' Keenan Allen and D.J. Fluker in 2013.

FINED: Texans LB John Simon, who drew a 15-yard penalty Sunday for a low hit on Winston, was fined $17,363 for the hit. Texans LB Akeem Dent was fined $8,681 for unnecessary roughness on a Texans punt return.

Bucs' Doug Martin says he's 'perfect for Sunday' 10/02/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2015 11:19pm]
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