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)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib likely a game-time decision

TAMPA — CB Aqib Talib might be the Bucs' most valuable player on defense.

He leads them with five interceptions and routinely blankets the opponent's top receiver. In their last meeting, Talib held Panthers WR Steve Smith to one reception.

But Talib has been battling a hamstring injury for the past five weeks. And although he is listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Carolina, he doesn't have nearly as much mobility as before, according to coach Raheem Morris.

"He's actually had more practice the other weeks he was limited," Morris said of Talib, who on Friday missed his second straight practice. "But it's the same sort of deal.

"You never know what's going to happen until he wakes up on Sunday."

If Talib can't play, Elbert Mack likely would start. And with veteran Torrie Cox lost for the season to a left hip injury sustained Sunday against the Falcons, the Bucs will utilize Derrick Roberson as their third cornerback.

Morris said Talib's value on defense is obvious.

"I'm not sure on how many defenses Talib wouldn't be the (best) player," Morris said. "He's a pretty talented guy for what he's done all year, being able to match receivers and match people. He has (five) picks. He's had a pretty productive year, so he's going to be heartbroken if he's not able to go."

More injuries: WR Michael Clayton (knee) and DE Michael Bennett (toe) are out. RB Clifton Smith (knee) was added to the injury report as questionable. DT Roy Miller (ankle), LT Donald Penn (knee), WR Maurice Stovall (thigh), DE Stylez White (hand) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) are probable.

ROAD WARRIOR: QB Josh Freeman doesn't have a win on the road, but he hasn't shrunk when playing in hostile territory, either.

"I like playing on the road," he said this week ahead of his third appearance on the road.

In starts at Miami and Atlanta, Freeman has completed 36 of 57 attempts (63 percent) for 446 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

"He's one of those kids that nothing really affects him; not bothered by pressure, not intimidated by anything," Morris said. "He's out there playing his heart out, and he's getting better and better every week."

REMEMBER WHEN: Sunday's game means nothing in terms of the playoff race, but the Bucs have had their share of meaningful games against Carolina.

One of Morris' earliest memories of coaching in the NFL came at Carolina in 2002. A 12-9 road victory took the Bucs to 6-2 en route to the Super Bowl. Morris recalls it as the sort of mettle-testing performance the current team needs to strive for.

"That was a battle of the field goals, a battle of will, a battle of attrition," Morris said. "Those are the testaments to our good defense. In order for us to capture that dominance, we have to get back to winning those types of games."

panthers update

Standout running back sits out again

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — RB DeAngelo Williams missed his third consecutive practice and is questionable for Sunday because of a sprained left ankle. Williams leads Carolina in rushing yards (1,022) and rushing touchdowns (seven).

More injuries: WR Dwayne Jarrett (ankle) and CB Captain Munnerlyn (concussion) are doubtful. WR Muhsin Muhammad (knee) and fullback Brad Hoover (ankle) are probable.

Defensive swap: DT Tank Tyler went on injured reserve with a sprained knee sustained Sunday against the Jets and was replaced by Derek Landri, who was claimed off of waivers from the Jaguars. Landri, a fifth-round in 2007, saw his playing time decrease this season after he gained about 20 pounds in an effort to become an every-down player. He appeared in only seven games with 13 tackles and was inactive the past four weeks.

Times wires

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib likely a game-time decision 12/04/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 4, 2009 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 9

    Footballpreps

    Tampa Bay Tech Titans Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws a pass during the first half during the first half at Durant High School in Plant City on Friday, October 20, 2017.
  2. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo

    College

    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  3. Journal: USF gets support on the road

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  4. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane

    College

    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  5. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103