TAMPA — It's a milestone more than six seasons in the making, but Bucs LT Donald Penn will start his 100th consecutive game Sunday at Seattle, which he says is a testament to resilience, steady play and good luck.
"I'm blessed," Penn said Wednesday as the Bucs returned to practice. "I'm happy I was able to do that, especially coming in as a free agent, starting from the bottom and working my way up. It's a great accomplishment."
Penn's streak is the fifth longest ever by a Buc and second longest among Tampa Bay offensive linemen, topped by center Tony Mayberry's run of 144 games from 1991-2000. He's not even halfway to the team record: DB Ronde Barber went 215 games, surpassing LB Derrick Brooks' streak of 208 last season.
NEXT DOOR: While left tackle has been a spot of consistency, left guard has been the opposite, with Jamon Meredith in position to be the fifth starter in eight games this season, joining Gabe Carimi, Carl Nicks, Ted Larsen and Jeremy Zuttah.
Meredith is hoping history can repeat itself. Last season the 27-year-old stepped in for Larsen at right guard in Week 5, trying to replace injured Pro Bowl player Davin Joseph. Meredith kept that starting spot for the final 12 games and now wants the carousel to end with him.
"I'm excited," he said. "The same thing happened last year, I got the opportunity and was fortunate enough to play 12 games straight. So hopefully I'm going to try to do the same thing."
Meredith came into the league at tackle but has moved around and been the sixth lineman on some running plays this season. Meredith quipped of the transition from right guard to left, the "only difference is that you put a different hand down."
COMING SOON: CB Danny Gorrer is eligible to be activated at any time, having recovered from groin surgery, and hopes it'll happen by Sunday.
"This is the time they can do it, still don't know anything right now, I just come to work and try to get better every day, just show them that if my number is called, I'd be ready," Gorrer said. "I'm definitely feeling pretty good, trying to take it step by step and try to get my wind back, try to get back into game shape."
BIG CATCH: Bucs LB Mason Foster played college ball at Washington, so he knows Seattle well and has been to the famous Pike Place Market, where fresh fish are tossed around and customers are invited to join.
"I couldn't catch them. Those fish are huge," Foster said, wearing a Huskies T-shirt in the locker room. "People don't realize how big they are. Those dudes are strong, throwing them, catching them. It's so fast. I'm not even messing with fish like that."
INJURY UPDATE: Several key players were limited Wednesday as the Bucs returned to practice: safeties Mark Barron (hip) and Dashon Goldson (knee) and linebackers Dekoda Watson (shoulder) and Mason Foster (hamstring). The Bucs say Nicks (foot) and RB Jeff Demps (groin) are out for Sunday's game; RB Doug Martin (shoulder) did not practice.
THIS AND THAT: Bucs coach Greg Schiano has faced Seattle QB Russell Wilson before: his Rutgers team beat Wilson and N.C. State 29-23 in the 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham. … Seattle has given up 27 sacks, 10 more than the Bucs and tied for seventh most in the NFL. The Rams played Seattle close Monday, getting a persistent pass rush.