Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Jeremy Trueblood has ankle injury

TAMPA — Bucs RT Jeremy Trueblood did not practice Thursday after injuring his ankle during Wednesday's practice, and it's unclear if he will play Sunday against the Giants.

Coach Greg Schiano said Trueblood finished practice Wednesday but was too sore to practice Thursday. Trueblood was seen early at practice Thursday riding an exercise bike, but he walked with a limp.

"I hope he'll be able to do something before we play Sunday and be (ready)," Schiano said.

Schiano also hopes RG Carl Nicks (big toe) will play even though the two-time Pro Bowl pick was limited for the second straight day. Schiano acknowledged it's not a good week for his offensive line to be banged up considering it faces the defensive front of the Giants, whose 48 sacks last season were tied for third in the league.

The Bucs are already without two-time Pro Bowl RG Davin Joseph, who is out for the season with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. Joseph's replacement, Ted Larsen, committed two penalties against the Panthers on Sunday.

BLOUNT BACK: RB LeGarrette Blount fully participated at practice, relieved he was cleared after MRI exams on his neck and back Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.

Blount, who sustained a stinger Sunday, according to GM Mark Dominik, said he felt confident he was okay and can play however much he is needed against the Giants.

That appeared in question when the team took the matter seriously enough to send him to a specialist in Charlotte. Blount refused to give specifics on where he felt pain other than "here and there," but he said he feels better now.

"I tested out," Blount said. "Everything is good."

BROTHERS BENNETT: Family ties usually go out the window when brothers compete against each other in the NFL. That's not the case with Bucs DE Michael Bennett and Giants TE Martellus Bennett.

In December, when Martellus played for Dallas, he actually cheered after his big brother sacked Cowboys QB Tony Romo during a game at Raymond James Stadium.

"I let out a little cheer," he told reporters in New York on Wednesday. "I couldn't help it. I turned to the coaches and was like, 'Y'all better get somebody in there that can block that boy!' "

That responsibility could, at times, fall to Martellus, 25. In a way, Michael said, competing against his brother is not natural.

"It's weird because it's such a violent sport, and I'm seeing my brother, and we're so close," Michael, 26, said.

"It's a special feeling just to know you grew up with your brother and just to see him in the league, too. Not many people get that feeling to have their family with the same occupation as they do."

FEELING SPECIAL: Schiano said his team had "way too many breakdowns" on the kickoff return team Sunday and said it will be challenged by a Giants special teams unit that has a size advantage.

"It was bad coaching by me. It wasn't great playing," Schiano said. "We just need to tighten that ship up a little bit. The Giants special teams, the one thing that jumps out off the tape is they're big, physical maulers. We've just got to fight our you-know-what's off."

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]y.com.

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