Rookie WR Mike Evans (groin) and LB Mason Foster (shoulder) were back in full pads Wednesday, a promising start toward their possible return Sunday against the Ravens, while CB Johnthan Banks and WR Vincent Jackson were held out of drills.
Banks had a sore neck after Sunday's game in New Orleans, coach Lovie Smith said, and Jackson was limited by a rib injury, though neither missed playing time Sunday as a result of their injuries.
Foster's healthy return would help the defense from a communications standpoint, as he would resume the duties of setting the defense, which Dane Fletcher and Lavonte David have done during his absence.
"That's always a good sign whenever you can get your (middle) linebacker out there," Smith said. "You miss your (middle) linebacker; it's like a quarterback. A guy that defensive players have been hearing; Mason knows the defense. Communication has been a problem for us a little bit."
Evans was limited in practice, not testing his injured groin but catching passes in full pads while jogging through routes.
S Dashon Goldson remains held out as he recovers from an ankle injury that sidelined him Sunday, and LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring) and QB Josh McCown (thumb) were also held out. DE Larry English, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring, was back at practice in a limited capacity.
RETURNED, NOT RETURNING: WR Eric Page, who handled punt and kickoff duties last season, was signed to the practice squad. Smith said he isn't a threat to rookie returner Solomon Patton, one day after the coach said he would "like to get a little bit more on our return game." "Solomon is our returner," Smith said. "(Page) is on the practice squad. We had a couple of receivers down. We needed a practice squad receiver. That's why we brought Eric back. To come back, you had to have done something good. I know Eric has been a returner in the past."
THIS AND THAT: Former Bucs center Jeremy Zuttah (ankle) is one of eight Ravens players who did not participate in Wednesday's practice. ... Bucs DE Michael Johnson got his first NFL sack against Baltimore's Joe Flacco as a rookie in 2009. In 10 career games against the Ravens while playing for the Bengals, Johnson has 5-1/2 sacks. ... Flacco's career high for touchdown passes (four) came in his only previous game against Smith, a 31-7 win against the Bears in 2009.
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman.