TAMPA — The Bucs' offensive line was a bit of a mess Sunday night against the Saints, allowing Tom Brady to be sacked three times and hit on more than a half dozen other occasions.
Part of the problem was that left guard Ali Marpet missed the game with a concussion he suffered against the New York Giants Nov. 2.
Marpet practiced Wednesday, which is a positive sign he may return from concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s game at Carolina.
“Ali is in the final phases of the protocol,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday. “We’ll wait and see and evaluate, but it looks like he came out fine. We’ll wait to see if he gets any recurring headaches.”
With Marpet out, the Bucs started Joe Haeg at left guard. Arians said the Saints used a lot of stunts and twists to pressure Haeg and left tackle Donovan Smith.
Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski did not practice Wednesday, but Arians said it was just a day off.
As precautions against Hurricane Eta, the Bucs were instructed to be out of the AdventHealth Training Center by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Arians said Thursday’s schedule would be pushed back 4-5 hours to more of an evening slate.
“But we’ll get our work in,” he said.