As expected, the Bucs have ruled out three injured players -- S Dashon Goldson, rookie WR Mike Evans and DE Larry English -- for Sunday's game at New Orleans, with LB Mason Foster as the only key player uncertain as the Bucs face the Saints.
Goldson's ankle injury means Major Wright will start for a second week in a row -- he had nine tackles filling in for Goldson in most of last week's win at Pittsburgh. Evans' groin injury means the Bucs will likely start Louis Murphy, who had a team-best six catches for 99 yards -- all in the second half Sunday -- including the 41-yard catch that set up the winning touchdown with 0:07 left.
English misses his second game in a row with a hamstring, but the Bucs got good production from their backups on the defensive line last week, with Da'Quan Bowers and Scott Solomon getting sacks and Jacquies Smith getting a fumble recovery on the opening drive.
Bucs coach Lovie Smith stopped short of ruling out QB Josh McCown, who has not practiced since injuring the thumb on his throwing hand two weeks ago in a loss to Atlanta. Smith said McCown could suit up Sunday if something were to happen to current backup QB Mike Kafka, but McCown would almost assuredly be left inactive on game day to allow a healthy player to dress and play.
Two players who returned from ankle injuries last week and played extensively -- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and DE Michael Johnson -- have been limited in practice, but Smith reiterated that they had no setbacks, and they're expected to play significant roles Sunday in New Orleans.