Advertisement

Anthony Collins, Doug Martin likely out for Bucs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) gets ready for the snap during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. The Vikings won 19-13. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay) FLRM125
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) gets ready for the snap during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. The Vikings won 19-13. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay) FLRM125
Published Nov. 1, 2014

TAMPA — For the third day in a row, the Bucs practiced without starting LT Anthony Collins (foot) and RB Doug Martin (ankle), making it unlikely they will play Sunday at Cleveland.

And one day after return specialist Trindon Holliday injured his hamstring, he was waived/injured by the Bucs, who promoted former Dolphins returner Marcus Thigpen from the practice squad.

Coach Lovie Smith said Friday that Holliday's injury was "a little bit more serious than we thought," but backup LB Brandon Magee is the only injured player ruled out for Sunday. Smith is keeping the door (slightly) open with Martin and Collins, both listed as doubtful, which the league translates as at least a 75 percent chance will not play.

Veteran Oniel Cousins is expected to step in at left tackle and team rushing leader Bobby Rainey to start at running back. DE Michael Johnson, limited by a hand injury, is listed as questionable, while WR Vincent Jackson (rib) and C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) were upgraded to full participation today and are listed as probable.

FIRING BACK: Smith responded two days after former S Mark Barron said he didn't like the "passive" nature of the defense. Smith volunteered a passing reference to the line, then made it clear there is aggressive play on his team.

Speaking about rookie WR Mike Evans trying to track down Vikings LB Anthony Barr as Barr returned a fumble for a winning touchdown in overtime Sunday, Smith said, "the effort he gave, he looked like a safety on that play, one that wasn't real passive on that play, going down and trying to strip the ball."

Asked for a response to Barron's comments after Barron was traded to the Rams for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick in 2015, Smith said he doesn't think his defense is naturally passive.

"I'm not going to talk about any players that aren't here anymore," Smith said. "Our safety position that we play, one of the requirements isn't for you to be passive, I will say that."

SHORT-LIVED: Holliday's tenure with the Bucs lasted just one game, but the team found his successor in Thigpen, who returned a punt and touchdown for touchdowns with the Dolphins in 2012.

Holliday, who took over punt and kickoff return duties against the Vikings, was injured in Thursday's practice. He came to Tampa with an NFL-best six touchdowns on returns since 2012; his final numbers for the Bucs: 45 yards on two kickoff returns, 17 yards on two punt returns.

Thigpen, 28, played for the Dolphins the past two seasons. He had a 96-yard kickoff return and 72-yard punt return for touchdowns in 2012 and caught a 14-yard touchdown pass last year.

ANOTHER MOVE: The team promoted DT Matt Masifilo from the practice squad. The former Stanford player was on the 53-man roster for seven weeks in 2012 but inactive for all seven games. Masifilo spent last season and this season on the practice squad, and he could give the team depth on the interior defensive line as Da'Quan Bowers finishes his two-game suspension for performance-enhancing substances.

Stay updated on the Buccaneers

Stay updated on the Buccaneers

Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter

We’ll deliver a roundup of news and commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weekly during the season.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Even with Thigpen and Masifilo's promotions, the Bucs have just 51 players on the 53-man roster. They cut QB Mike Kafka on Monday and traded Barron and LB Jonathan Casillas on Tuesday, so they have a chance to add players for Sunday's game. Moving rookie RB Charles Sims from the short-term injured reserve list and a promotion from the practice squad are strong possibilities.