TAMPA — The Bucs returned to the practice field Wednesday for the first time since Sunday's loss in Houston, and LT Donovan Smith and CB Johnthan Banks were among those not practicing due to injuries.
The severity of Smith's knee injury wasn't disclosed, but it is serious enough that the Bucs waived RB Mike James on Tuesday to make room for T Reid Fragel, who was promoted from the practice squad. Banks, who played 10 snaps Sunday before his toe caught in the turf, twisting his knee, said Wednesday that he was day to day recovering from the injury.
"You have to have a pretty significant injury to not practice," coach Lovie Smith said.
The Bucs were also without C Evan Smith (ankle), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) and TE Luke Stocker (unknown). S Major Wright, who missed two games with an abdominal injury, practiced for the first time since the injury.
If Donovan Smith can't go Sunday, the Bucs would either move RT Gosder Cherilus or plug in second-year pro Kevin Pamphile, who started two games at right tackle last season.
Four Bucs recovering from injuries were listed as "limited participation" Wednesday: DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder), DE George Johnson (neck), S Chris Conte (hip) and Wright (abdomen).
MEA CULPA: Bucs WR Mike Evans, echoing his comments after Sunday's loss, said he "played terrible" against the Texans, when he was targeted for 17 passes but caught only seven for 101 yards.
"This team needs better from me, and I will get better," Evans said. "We should have definitely won if I make one or two more plays. I'll work hard in practice this week and hopefully I'll make those plays come Sunday."
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter also acknowledged that Evans "didn't have his best" game Sunday, saying the team's passing and catching on third down was the offense's biggest problem.
"You want to be a big-time receiver, you want to be a big-time quarterback, the protection's there, the route's there, we have to make the plays," Koetter said. "We're not pinning it on anybody. … I'm not telling you anything that Mike wouldn't tell you himself. Mike is paid to make those catches."
MOVES: James, waived Tuesday, cleared waivers and was signed back to the Bucs' practice squad, with LB Orie Lemon released to make room.
DE Kourtnei Brown was signed off the practice squad to the Texans' active roster, and the Bucs added two players to the practice squad in former Gators TE Tevin Westbrook, who was with the Titans in preseason, and G Antoine Everett, who was with the team in preseason.
THIS AND THAT: When the Bucs held Houston without a sack Sunday, it was the first time Tampa Bay did that to an opponent since December 2012. … Lovie Smith has many former Bears on his roster, but the Panthers have two big ones in TE Greg Olsen and CB Charles Tillman. "(Tillman) is about as good as there is," Smith said.