TAMPA — It's a minor step, but after two weeks of not throwing in practice until Friday, Bucs QB Jameis Winston threw during Wednesday's practice, an encouraging sign for his recovery from a right shoulder injury.
"You'd always rather have your starting quarterback out there taking every rep," said coach Dirk Koetter, who had expressed uncertainty as to when his quarterback would be able to throw in practice this week.
Winston injured the shoulder in a loss at Arizona on Oct. 15 and has shown extremes in his performance since then with limited practice work. He threw for three second-half touchdowns and 384 yards in a loss at Buffalo on Oct. 22 but struggled Sunday at home in a 17-3 loss to Carolina as the Bucs went without a touchdown for the first time in his 39 games at quarterback.e_SClBMore injuries
CB Brent Grimes, who missed the Panthers game with a shoulder injury, was again held out of practice, putting his status for Sunday's game in New Orleans in question. The Bucs were also without WR Adam Humphries, who hurt his ribs Sunday.
If Humphries can't go against the Saints, it would mean a larger role for rookie Chris Godwin, who has just seven catches for 74 yards in limited action.
"Just real steady," Koetter said of Godwin. "Real solid across the board. He's a major contributor on special teams and a guy that, because of our depth at wide receiver, he is not getting that many targets. He's down in the pecking order a bit, but he is doing his best, and he's going to be a real good player in this league."
Godwin leaped into the end zone in punt coverage Sunday to scoop the ball out of midair so a Bryan Anger punt could be downed at the 2-yard line.
This and that
•TE Cameron Brate spent a week on the Saints practice squad in 2015 after he was cut by the Bucs, but Tampa Bay re-signed him, and he has 15 touchdown catches since. "Always keep some gear," Brate said of his short stint in New Orleans. "I have a couple of Saints shirts floating around. I think I gave them to some of my friends."
• Saints rookie RB Alvin Kamara, who has a combined 500 yards of total offense in seven games, overlapped briefly at Tennessee with Bucs quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian. Bajakian was the offensive coordinator when Tennessee signed Kamara before joining the Bucs' staff in 2015.
• Three of New Orleans' starting offensive linemen were held out of Wednesday's practice with injuries, creating a potential opportunity for the Bucs defense, which ranks last in the league with seven sacks in seven games.
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.