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Bucs rule out Clinton McDonald for Thursday game

TAMPA — Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald will miss a fourth straight game with a hamstring injury, the team announced Wednesday in ruling him out for tonight's home game against the Falcons.

As expected, running backs Doug Martin (hamstring) and Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) are also out, which leaves the Bucs with three backups for tonight in veteran Antone Smith, rookie Peyton Barber and Mike James, who was signed to the roster Tuesday.

There is encouraging progress for defensive end Will Gholston, who suffered a biceps injury Sunday but was upgraded to full participation Wednesday and is listed as "questionable." Less so for wide receiver Russell Shepard, who has been limited by a hip injury and is officially doubtful, which translates to "unlikely to play."

Three injured Falcons are out tonight: running back Tevin Coleman (who had 95 receiving yards against the Bucs in Week 1), tight end Jacob Tamme (their leading receiver in the first Bucs game) and defensive end Dwight Freeney.

VIKES' TURNER RESIGNS: Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner abruptly resigned, stunning the team two days after its second straight loss.

Coach Mike Zimmer, who hired Turner to run his offense after getting the Vikings job in 2014, said the decision was made entirely by Turner, who was replaced by Pat Shurmur.

"Norv is a very, very good friend of mine. He has helped me tremendously in the three years that I've been here," Zimmer said. "He's had an unbelievable career. He's been, really, my right-hand man."

NEWTON, GOODELL TALK: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is hopeful his concerns over taking "illegal hits" from defensive players while he's in the pocket will be addressed on the field after a "great conversation" with commissioner Roger Goodell. The two spoke Tuesday by phone, and Newton said Goodell was receptive.

AILING CHIEFS: Quarterback Alex Smith is out with a head injury and will be replaced Sunday by Nick Foles. Also, running back Jamaal Charles had exploratory surgery to determine why there is lingering pain in his surgically repaired right knee, and backup running back Spencer Ware has yet to pass a battery of concussion tests.

DOLPHINS: Receiver Jarvis Landry said he'll change the way he targets his blocks in the wake of his illegal hit that briefly hospitalized Bills safety Aaron Williams.

STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said there's still pain in his left knee two weeks after surgery, but he isn't ruling himself out of Sunday's game in Baltimore.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Bucs rule out Clinton McDonald for Thursday game 11/02/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 9:00pm]
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