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Bucs’ Donovan Smith returns to practice; Julio Jones, Chris Godwin still out

The left tackle had not practiced since suffering a hyperextended elbow in the season opener at Dallas.
Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith (76), pictured saluting the fans during a game against the Dolphins in October, returned to practice Thursday.
Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith (76), pictured saluting the fans during a game against the Dolphins in October, returned to practice Thursday. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 22|Updated Sep. 22

TAMPA — Tom Brady may have a little more time to deliver the football Sunday against the Packers.

Left tackle Donovan Smith, who suffered a hyperextended right elbow in the Bucs’ 19-3 win at Dallas in Week 1, returned to practice Thursday for the first time since he was injured.

“Yeah, it felt good to get back out there, be with the squad,” Smith told reporters afterward. “Obviously, you have kind of a thing that goes on when you’re out and you feel like you’re worthless, so I feel good to be back out there.”

When asked how the arm is holding up, Smith said, “I’m good,” but brushed off a follow-up question about his pain tolerance at this point.

“That’s too many questions,” he said with a chuckle.

A Smith return would represent a positive break for the Bucs, who placed backup left tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve this week with a calf injury. Former Seminole High School and Florida Atlantic star Brandon Walton replaced Wells and played 44 snaps to finish the game at New Orleans.

“Brandon’s kind of been like a swing guy inside and out, center-guard, playing both tackles,” Smith said. “His stock’s not doing anything but rising.”

The Bucs’ receiver position, however, still looks thin. Both Julio Jones (knee) and Chris Godwin (hamstring) did not practice Thursday.

Other players who had been limited ― center Robert Hainsey, running back Leonard Fournette, and receivers Russell Gage, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller ― practiced.

Tight end Cade Otton again did not practice for non-injury related reasons.

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