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Julio Jones back at Bucs practice, Chris Godwin won’t play Sunday vs. Saints

Left tackle Donovan Smith also may be sidelined in New Orleans.
Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich chats with receiver Julio Jones (85) during a recent practice at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. Jones was present at Friday's practice after missing the previous two days.
Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich chats with receiver Julio Jones (85) during a recent practice at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. Jones was present at Friday's practice after missing the previous two days. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Sep. 16|Updated Sep. 17

TAMPA — If Friday morning’s practice was any indication, the Bucs’ injury-besieged corps of receivers is getting a bit healthier.

Julio Jones (knee) and Mike Evans (calf), neither of whom participated in Thursday’s practice, were present when the team hit the field at AdventHealth Training Center. Additionally, receiver Russell Gage (hamstring), who didn’t practice Wednesday and was a limited participant Thursday, also practiced.

All three were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at New Orleans on the final injury report Friday, along with tailback Leonard Fournette (hamstring), receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and right tackle Tristan Wirfs (abdomen). All practiced in a limited capacity and were expected to play against the Saints.

Ruled out was receiver Chris Godwin, who suffered a strained hamstring late in the first half of last weekend’s season opener against the Cowboys, his first game since Jan. 3 knee surgery. Left tackle Donovan Smith (hyperextended elbow) and rookie cornerback Zyon McCollum (hamstring) were listed as doubtful.

“Donovan will be close,” said coach Todd Bowles, who has indicated that Josh Wells will start at left tackle if Smith can’t go. “It’ll be hard for him to make it, but we’ll see. The rest of the guys we’ll see on Sunday.”

Also not present were linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, both of whom were given a veteran’s maintenance day.

Bowles was noncommittal when asked if he’d consider elevating a receiver from the practice squad. Even with Godwin out, the Bucs have six on the active roster: Evans, Jones, Gage, Perriman, Scotty Miller and Jaelon Darden. Miller was inactive against the Cowboys.

“We’ll wait and see as time goes on,” Bowles said.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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