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Chris Conte back for Bucs, Evan Smith hopes to play Saturday

Lots of injury updates from Wednesday's Bucs practice, the team's first since Monday's preseason win against the Bengals, with several key players returning to drills and potentially in position to play in Saturday's home preseason game against the Browns.

-- Safety Chris Conte, out more than three weeks with a hamstring injury, was back at practice for the first time since the opening day of training camp. He said in the locker room Wednesday that it's too soon to know if he can play Saturday.

-- Defensive ends Jacquies Smith (shoulder) and T.J. Fatinikun (leg) are both back at practice after missing all of last week. Fatinikun hasn't played in either preseason game, so the Bucs' pass rush could get a boost with two of their top four ends back healthy.

-- Center Evan Smith, who missed Monday's game after a groin injury in Sunday's walkthrough, did not practice but said that the plan is for him to play Saturday, an important chance to get the first-team line together for another extended time before the season opener.

-- Nickel defensive back Leonard Johnson's ankle injury is significant enough that he was walking on crutches at Wednesday's practice, with a boot on his left foot as well. Lovie Smith has said he won't play in Saturday's game, but the crutches suggest he could be out for a longer time. With Johnson out, Isaiah Frey -- who'd moved to corner when Sterling Moore switched to nickel -- is back working at nickel again with Moore.

-- Only new injury to report is defensive end Larry English, who had a sack Monday night but was a spectator at Wednesday's drills. We'll check on his status and the nature of his injury.

-- Still sidelined with injuries: C Josh Allen (ankle), DT Akeem Spence (back), LB Orie Lemon (abdominal) ...

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