TAMPA — The Bucs will face one of the league’s best rushing attacks without their leading tackler.
Inside linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Jamel Dean will miss Sunday’s game against the Colts in Indianapolis.
“Lavonte and Jamel will be out,” head coach Todd Bowles said after Friday’s practice. “Everybody else will be game-time decisions.”
When asked how much time he expects David and Dean to miss with their injuries, Bowles called both “day-to-day, week-to-week.”
Inside linebacker Devin White, who has been out this week with a foot injury, practiced on a limited basis Friday.
“He ran around (Friday),” Bowles said. “It’s again about how he feels on Sunday. It’d be a game-time decision.”
David, 33, suffered a groin injury during last Sunday’s 27-14 loss to the 49ers. He leads the Bucs with 90 tackles this season. The next closest player is safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. who trails David by 19 tackles.
Dean suffered an ankle injury after leaping and failing to defend what became a 76-yard touchdown pass from San Francisco’s Brock Purdy to Brandon Aiyuk.
The Colts game will be the first David has missed since returning to the team on a one-year, $4.5 million contract. He has been one of the Bucs’ best players on defense. In addition to his 90 tackles, he has three sacks, 14 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
In trying to replace David this week, Bowles said the Bucs will use a combination of players.
“It will be packages,” he said.
The Colts have a two-headed rushing attack that features Zack Moss and Jonathan Taylor. They rank 10th in the NFL with an average of 118 rushing yards per game.
White, who has been slowed by a foot injury for much of the season, is third on the Bucs with 62 tackles. He did not practice this week until Friday and is likely to be questionable for Sunday’s game.
Times staff writer Kristie Ackert contributed to this report.
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