Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' injury list grows

TAMPA —- The Bucs are dealing with more injuries than they have in recent weeks, with a handful of key players held out of Wednesday's practice: DT Gerald McCoy (hand), RT Gosder Cherilus (knee), WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DE Jacquies Smith (hamstring), LB Bruce Carter (concussion) and TE Luke Stocker (back).

"Longer injury list (Wednesday)," coach Lovie Smith said, declining to elaborate on the severity of the injuries until the NFL requires the Bucs to do so.

DE George Johnson, who has missed the past two games with a calf injury, remains sidelined. S Keith Tandy, who missed Sunday's game against the Colts with a concussion, returned to practice in a limited capacity. Backup CB Mike Jenkins was limited with a quadriceps injury.

NO, NOT YET: Cherilus has played every snap at right tackle this season, but if the Bucs are considering making a switch to last year's starter, Demar Dotson, it's news to him. "I don't think anything's changed," said Dotson, who has been limited to special-teams work in three games since being activated off short-term injured reserve. "I think they're going forward with what they have. It's not a discussion they've had with me."

HONORED: For the third year in a row, Jackson is being honored as the Bucs' Man of the Year, making him one of 32 nominees for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Jackson is the first Bucs player to win the team honor three times since S John Lynch from 2001-03. His Jackson in Action 83 Foundation is active with military personnel and their families, and his work with them made him the national runnerup for the NFL's Salute to Service award last season.

As the team winner, Jackson earns $5,000 for his charity. The winner of the Payton award earns a $50,000 donation, with two runnerups earning $6,000.

BE QUIET, EWE: It was a cryptic scene captured on camera from the Bucs' sideline during Sunday's loss at Indianapolis: Bucs QB Jameis Winston grabbing the shirt of fellow rookie WR Evan Spencer and telling him: "Lions do not accept opinions of … sheep, okay? He's a sheep."

Who was the sheep? Spencer, on the practice squad, said he had gotten tired of criticism directed at Winston from a heckling Colts fan and responded to him, and Winston was telling him not to do that.

"It was just a situation where I stepped out and said something I shouldn't have to a fan because I felt he was disrespecting my quarterback," Spencer said. "Me being the person I am, I said something to him. Afterwards, Jameis said 'You know what. We don't mind ourselves with his opinions and things he's saying. We have to go out and do what we can.'

"It was just a moment, and after that it was over with. We talked about it, and we're good to go from here on out."

Winston was referencing a quote from the popular HBO show Game of Thrones: "A lion doesn't concern itself with the opinion of sheep." The quote is a variation of a line attributed to the late author Vernon Howard, who wrote, "A truly strong person does not need the approval of others, any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep."

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

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