Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Preseason injuries nag at Bucs

Defensive end  Michael Johnson, who has a knee bruise, is the latest addition to the Bucs' injury list. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Defensive end Michael Johnson, who has a knee bruise, is the latest addition to the Bucs' injury list. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

TAMPA — Four days before the most important game of the Bucs' preseason schedule, six players listed on the defensive two-deep depth chart were held out of Tuesday's practice with various injuries.

The newest addition to the list was DE Michael Johnson, who has a knee bruise, joined as a spectator in defensive line drills by Will Gholston (shoulder) and Da'Quan Bowers (groin). The other cluster of injuries is in the defensive secondary, where CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring) remains out, as does S Major Wright (back) and CB Rashaan Melvin (ankle).

"(Johnson) should be good to go," said coach Lovie Smith, whose team plays Saturday afternoon at Buffalo. "(CB) Alterraun Verner (hamstring) is getting better but this is his first work in a long time so we'll ease back into the mix."

The only players Smith has said are likely out Saturday are Gholston and RB Mike James (shoulder). DE Steven Means, who sat out last week's loss to Miami with a groin injury, was back at practice. "He's improved a lot quicker than we thought he would," Smith said. "Guys need to make the football team and they need to get out there. Every rep they miss, of course, someone else is taking advantage of."

Go lefty: WR Mike Evans played exclusively on the right side of the formation during his two seasons at Texas A&M. So he carried the football in his right hand.

That was what led to his fumble through the end zone after a 41-yard reception instead of a touchdown against Miami. As he ran down the left sideline with a pass from Mike Glennon, CB Brent Grimes stripped the ball just before Evans reached the goal line. The ball rolled through the end zone for a touchback.

"I wasn't comfortable holding it in my left so that's another thing I need to practice on, holding the ball in my outside arm, whatever sideline I'm on," Evans said. "If it's in the right (arm) and I'm holding it tight, it wouldn't have come out. But holding it in my left, it wouldn't have happened at all."

This and that: NFL cuts start next week, as rosters will be reduced from 90 to 75 players Tuesday, then down to the final 53 on Aug. 30. But two more hopefuls per team will have jobs, as the league announced it was expanding practice squads from eight players per team to 10 for the next two seasons. Eight current Bucs were on Tampa Bay's practice squad at some point last season. … Rookie G Kadeem Edwards said he played exclusively at left guard in college but has cross-trained at both guard positions in recent weeks. … Smith points to Buffalo's 57 sacks last year, second in the league, as another strong challenge for his offensive line. "That's getting after the passer. They have legitimate rushers," he said.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman.

Preseason injuries nag at Bucs 08/19/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support

    Sports

    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

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

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)