TAMPA — The Bucs will be without their top pass rusher again and two mainstays on offense.
DE Jacquies Smith (ankle), WR Vincent Jackson (knee) and G Ali Marpet (ankle) are out for Sunday's game against Dallas, coach Lovie Smith announced Friday.
S D.J. Swearinger, out since last week with a toe injury, didn't practice Friday and is officially doubtful for Sunday. The biggest lingering question mark remains TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has been practicing for three weeks but has remained inactive with a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since Week 2. Seferian-Jenkins has been listed as having "limited participation" in practice again this week and is questionable. Lovie Smith said it's a matter of doctors clearing the tight end to absorb full contact on his shoulder.
"That's what it's down to," Smith said. "The first step was to be able to run without pain and be able to take a little bit of contact. He's been doing that for a while. That is the last step. He's making progress with that and we just don't know. He's done more this week than any previous week, so we'll see how it goes."
With Marpet out, the team will stick with former starting C Evan Smith at right guard, where he played most of last week's game when Marpet sprained his ankle after just 10 plays.
Jacquies Smith's injury takes away the team's best outside pass rusher. First-year player Howard Jones started last week but had zero tackles, and George Johnson has no sacks after eight games.
Jackson has missed two games with his knee injury, but rookie Adam Humphries stepped up well last week, catching five passes for 55 yards in a loss to the Giants. Fellow rookie Donteea Dye has also taken on a larger role in Jackson's absence.
The Bucs finished Sunday's game with only two healthy safeties — those two, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy, were working with the first-team defense Friday. Bradley McDougald (concussion) and Major Wright (hamstring) have been limited in practice; if they can't play, the team would have to dress Kimario McFadden, who was signed this week but hasn't been with the club since being cut at the end of preseason.
O-LINE DEPTH: T Demar Dotson will be active Sunday, though backing up RT Gosder Cherilus. T/G Kevin Pamphile took some practice snaps at center Friday.
"The one thing that's happening with the offensive line, I know it's one thing on who starts, but I like the seven guys we're going to dress," Lovie Smith said. "We have depth, and everybody that's suiting up has played good football for us. Dallas has a good (defensive) front. They have first-rounders, they have high-money guys, and they play hard. For us, we have to neutralize that front."