Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith sits out practice with hip injury

The severity of offensive tackle Donovan Smith’s injury isn’t known after he sat out practice.


The severity of offensive tackle Donovan Smith’s injury isn’t known after he sat out practice.

TAMPA — Four Bucs players injured in Sunday's loss at Arizona were absent from Wednesday's practice, but LT Donovan Smith, who hasn't missed a snap in his 18-game career, watched practice due to a hip injury.

The severity of the injury is unknown; coach Dirk Koetter declined to share any more injury information than he's required. The Bucs face the real prospect of being without the four players injured Sunday — RB Doug Martin (hamstring), DE Robert Ayers (ankle), TE Luke Stocker (ankle) and WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring).

If Smith can't go, the Bucs could plug Evan Smith in at left guard and slide Kevin Pamphile to left tackle, or they could plug in veteran backup Gosder Cherilus. The backup left tackle on the depth chart is undrafted rookie Leonard Wester, who has been inactive in the first two games.

TRANSACTION: The only roster move in response to those injuries so far came at receiver, where Freddie Martino, 25, was promoted from the practice squad to add depth in anticipation of Shorts not being able to play.

Martino had six catches for 65 yards in the final 10 minutes of the final preseason game. He played in one game for Atlanta in 2014 (where Koetter was offensive coordinator) for two plays, with no catches.

The Bucs also waived LB Josh Keyes from the roster and signed former Purdue and Cowboys DE Ryan Russell to the practice squad.

BRIGHT SPOT: One area of emphasis for Koetter was lowering the frequency of penalties against the Bucs, who had the second-most penalty yards (74.7 per game) last season and were tied for the most penalties (8.9 per game).

Through two games, the Bucs are in the league's bottom 10 in both, averaging 5.5 penalties for 43.5 yards, to Koetter's pleasure.

"Our goal is to be six or less a game, and we've made it," Koetter said. "We have done a pretty good job in that area, and we need to continue that."

THIS AND THAT: If Ayers can't go Sunday, undrafted rookie DE Channing Ward, inactive for the first two games, would likely dress as the fifth end. "You sit on the sideline and watch and say, 'If I keep working hard, that could be me,' " said Ward, who played at Ole Miss. "Right now, I have an opportunity this week to go out there and play, so I have to take advantage of it." … Rookie LB Davonte Bond, inactive the first two games as he recovers from a preseason hamstring injury, said the time off has helped him prepare mentally. With Keyes cut, he's likely to make his debut Sunday. "I'm feeling good now and definitely excited to play," he said. "I know mentally I've picked up a lot, learned a lot more of the defense. I had to take that serious while I was sitting out and get the mental reps."

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith sits out practice with hip injury 09/21/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Blue Jays

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Browns to start rookie QB DeShone Kizer vs. Bucs


    BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer will be next through the Browns' quarterback turnstile.

    He doesn't want it to spin again soon.

    Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer, left, will start vs. the Bucs on Saturday. He will be Cleveland’s 27th starter since 1999.
  3. Florida Gators' QB situation remains up in the air


    GAINESVILLE — With 10 days remaining until Florida's season opener against Michigan, Gators coach Jim McElwain still hasn't named a starting quarterback.

    Does it bother him?

    "Not at all," he said Wednesday.

  4. Bucs journal: Three key players miss practice as precaution


    TAMPA — Three days before the most important game of the preseason, the Bucs held three key players — WR Mike Evans, LB Kwon Alexander and G J.R. Sweezy — from Wednesday's practice as a precaution.

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during practice Saturday ( Aug. 19, 2017), sits out Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. .
  5. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.