Make us your home page

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 likely to get safety Jermaine Phillips back

TAMPA — Just when the Bucs secondary could most use the help — with the league's top offense coming to town — S Jermaine Phillips looks likely to return from his broken left forearm, solidifying the unit for Sunday's matchup against the Saints.

It's not clear if Phillips would start ahead of his replacement, Sabby Piscitelli, or come off the bench. But coach Jon Gruden expressed confidence Thursday that Phillips will play now that he is four weeks removed from his injury.

"We're excited about Jermaine," Gruden said. "It looks like he'll be able to go."

Phillips has missed the past three games after suffering the break against Dallas on Oct. 26. Piscitelli has filled in nicely but has had a handful of rough spots in the first full-time action of his career. And no one in the secondary is more stout against the run than Phillips.

Phillips is "a really good player, and any time you lose one, the next guy has to step up," Gruden said. "Sabby clearly did that. I'm not comparing the two, but we need Jermaine Phillips. He's one of our leaders and one of our best players."

Other injuries: Bucs TE Alex Smith (ankle) has a chance to play Sunday, Gruden said.

And in New Orleans, the Saints reported RB Reggie Bush practiced for the second straight day, increasing the likelihood he will play. Bush has been out since tearing the meniscus in his left knee Oct. 19.

No contact: Associate head coach Rich Bisaccia, who oversees running backs and special teams, said he has not been contacted about the head coaching vacancy at Clemson.

The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier reported Bisaccia is a candidate for the Tigers, who fired Tommy Bowden on Oct. 14.

Bisaccia has extensive experience at the college level and served as Clemson's running backs/special teams coach and recruiting coordinator under coach Tommy West from 1994 to 1998.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at

Tampa Bay Buccaneers likely to get safety Jermaine Phillips back 11/27/08 [Last modified: Saturday, November 29, 2008 8:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot


    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  2. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20


    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  3. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  4. Ex-Florida Gators QB Treon Harris will start at Tennessee State


    Former Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris is a starter again.

    At Tennessee State.

  5. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times