TAMPA — The Bucs already lost starting center Ryan Jensen to injury this preseason, and they avoided a scare with replacement Robert Hainsey on Wednesday.
Hainsey was helped off the field and to a cart at the end of a joint practice with the Dolphins, suffering from leg cramps that aren’t considered serious. Hainsey’s issues came during a two-minute drill, with the Bucs driving down the field.
Earlier in Wednesday’s session, wide receiver Russell Gage limped toward the sideline during 1-on-1 drills against Miami defensive backs. He walked away from the practice and eventually inside.
Head coach Todd Bowles had no immediate update on either injury, adding he’ll “look at it when I get inside.” Wide receivers Mike Evans (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman, tight end Cameron Brate and outside linebacker JoJo Ozougwu were all outside but didn’t practice.
Hainsey has played center with the first-team offense after Jensen’s knee injury — which also occurred during a two-minute drill near the end of a session — on the second day of training camp. Nick Leverett emerged as another option behind Hainsey at center, but he has been inserted into the left guard competition. That’s where he played Wednesday, while John Molchon took snaps at center with the second-team again.
Gage signed with the Bucs in the offseason on a three-year deal, joining them four seasons with the Falcons. He impressed Bowles early in training camp as a wideout who “flashes and shows quickness and fluidity and everything else.”
Young linebackers impress Lavonte David
Throughout training camp, second-year linebacker K.J. Britt has worked with the second-team defense and joined the starters if Lavonte David got a day off. David said he noticed the Britt getting “better and better” each day, something that’s important because “anything can happen.”
“Unfortunate situations happen in this game, guys get injured and K.J. Britt is a guy who we need to count on to come in and plug and play and just pick up the slack,” David said.
Britt has impressed David by never making the same mistake twice — something Britt has “taken to heart” — and continuing to reach out, ask questions and study.
David also said he has been impressed by Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, the second-year outside linebacker tasked with replacing Jason Pierre-Paul. Last year, Tryon-Shoyinka missed “easy stuff” and blew assignments, but now, “it’s like clockwork for him,” David said.
Odds and ends
Kicker Jose Borregales went 6-for-7 on field goals Wednesday, missing left from 48 yards. … Wide receiver Chris Godwin, gradually progressing toward a return from his season-ending ACL/MCL tear, ran routes and caught some passes from quarterback Ryan Griffin off to the side. … In the Bucs’ two-minute drill, Tom Brady’s pass led receiver Tyler Johnson across the middle and into a crunching hit between two defenders. Johnson then slowly walked toward the sideline and slammed his helmet into the ground with both hands. Bowles said afterward “we’re trying to avoid those (hits)” and “we don’t want that in practice.” ... The Bucs defeated the Dolphins last regular season, 45-17, behind Brady’s 411 yards and five touchdowns, and Miami cornerback Xavien Howard said that performance has been on his mind “24/7″ and “still is” in the 10 months since. “We were waiting on his day,” defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said. “We felt like we got embarrassed last year.”
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