Saturday, February 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kevin Pamphile to play, bringing Bucs offensive line to full strength

TAMPA — The Bucs offensive line will be back to full strength for Sunday's home game against Seattle, as LG Kevin Pamphile has been cleared from concussion protocol after being sidelined the past two games, coach Dirk Koetter said Friday.

The Bucs have gotten by with first-year players Ben Gottschalk and Caleb Benenoch at left guard in their past two wins. Having Pamphile back will be a boost not only against a Seahawks defense tied for the NFL lead with 31 sacks but in the Bucs' effort to establish their running game. Sunday will mark the first time the Bucs have had their line intact and RB Doug Martin healthy since early in Week 2 against Arizona.

Koetter was also pleased to see CB Brent Grimes back as a full participant in Friday's practice, after he missed most of Sunday's win with a quad injury that also had him held out of Wednesday's practice.

Having Grimes — listed as questionable for Sunday — healthy would be a major plus against Seattle's passing game, knowing the Bucs are already without nickel CB Jude Adjei-Barimah, who is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

"Real encouraging," Koetter said of Grimes' improvement this week. "We're very happy again. We're at that point of year where you never know what's going to happen, so, great to have Brent out here."

Bucs CB Alterraun Verner was included in Friday's injury report with an excused absence that was "non-injury related." He's listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

SEATTLE INJURIES: Eight Seahawks did not practice this week, and four have been ruled out, most notably All-Pro S Earl Thomas (hamstring). Others listed as questionable include C Justin Britt (ankle) and CB DeShawn Shead (hamstring).

BUCS INJURIES: RB Jacquizz Rodgers, out the past three games with a foot injury, practiced again Friday and was upgraded to full participation. The only player ruled out for Sunday is OL Evan Smith, still out with a knee injury.

ALL-PRO DAD: After he finished coaching the Bucs on Friday, Koetter watched his son quarterback the Bucs. Davis Koetter is the quarterback of the Berkeley Prep Buccaneers (9-2), who traveled to Jacksonville Trinity Christian (9-3) for the Class 3A state high school football semifinal.

Koetter said he had a way to finish his job Friday and make the 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Jacksonville.

"We all have a way," Koetter said. "It's once in a lifetime. They're playing good football right now. But this team they're playing in Jacksonville is a great team. It's going to be a good game."

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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