Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs guard Kevin Pamphile (concussion) to miss second straight game

TAMPA — Bucs starting LG Kevin Pamphile won't travel with the team to Kansas City this weekend as he misses a second straight game with a concussion suffered two weeks ago against the Falcons.

Pamphile practiced with full participation Wednesday and Thursday, but he wasn't cleared from the league's concussion protocol, so the Bucs won't have their offensive line at full strength for the second straight week. Coach Dirk Koetter wouldn't say if rookie Caleb Benenoch, who made his NFL debut against the Bears on Sunday at left guard, would start again or if Ben Gottschalk, who stepped in at center for his debut Sunday, would play.

Benenoch had a "rocky" debut in the win against the Bears, Koetter has said. If C Joe Hawley returns after missing the Bears game with a knee injury, the Bucs could turn to Gottschalk, who filled in "admirably," Koetter said.

Hawley is listed as questionable, as are TE Luke Stocker (ankle) and WR Russell Shepard (hip). C Evan Smith (knee) and RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) have been ruled out.

OTHER SIDE: The Chiefs have several key players limited by injury. WR Jeremy Maclin (groin) is out. DE Jaye Howard (hip) is doubtful. CB Marcus Peters (hip), LB Justin Houston (knee), LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring) and DT Dontari Poe (knee) are among those listed as questionable.

THIS AND THAT: The Bucs could make a kickoff-return change. Koetter said practice-squad WR Josh Huff was an option, though he "might have come lame in practice," which could keep the Bucs sticking with rookie S Ryan Smith. … WR Mike Evans and DT Gerald McCoy are the Bucs most likely to be selected to the Pro Bowl, but the team is making a case for four others to the media: CB Brent Grimes, QB Jameis Winston and LB Lavonte David, who have been to Pro Bowls, and LB Kwon Alexander, who was leading the NFL in solo tackles entering the week. … Koetter said the Bucs had yet to decide which player on injured reserve would be designated for return. That's most likely to be RB Charles Sims, who could return in two weeks and has been out since Week 4 with a knee injury.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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