TAMPA — Bucs C Joe Hawley said he was spat on by a Seahawks player in Sunday's win, and Friday, a Seattle rookie fired back, denying the accusation.
"They were hitting me late and when I got up, when I got all fired up, one guy actually spit in my face after one of the plays and I got all fired up because I don't think that should be part of the game at all," Hawley said Thursday during his weekly radio show on 620-AM. "It's one thing pushing, shouting, yelling, but as soon as he spit in my face, I was pretty fired up about that. … It's disgusting."
Asked if he thought the player was Seahawks rookie DT Jarran Reed, Hawley said, "Yeah I think that's who it was. I'm not sure. He's a young guy, he just … that's not the way to do it."
Reed, speaking to Seattle reporters, denied spitting on him or hitting him late, challenging the Bucs to "show me the play."
"I just think it's funny," he told the Seattle Times. "I guess 'cause he couldn't block a rookie the way he wanted to, so I would be pretty (upset), too, you know. I guess he needs to do a better job. … I thought we were all grown men, but I think it's pretty funny. It sounds like a 14-year-old girl running to everybody (saying), 'Ooh, he spit in my face' and all that."
INJURY UPDATE: DT Gerald McCoy returned to practice for the first time this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game due to a foot injury. McCoy has said he will play in San Diego despite the injury.
As expected, the Bucs ruled out S Chris Conte (chest) and OL Evan Smith (knee), with Keith Tandy expected to start for Conte. TE Brandon Myers (hip), S Ryan Smith (shoulder) and RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) are questionable, though coach Dirk Koetter said it's a "fair deduction" to think Rodgers will play Sunday after missing four games with his injury.
The Chargers ruled out CB Brandon Flowers (concussion), rookie LB Jatavis Brown (knee) and LB Jerry Attaochu (foot). WR Tyrell Williams practiced for the first time since injuring his shoulder Sunday and is listed as questionable.
MORE HONORS: Bucs DE Noah Spence, named NFL rookie of the month for November, on Friday was voted NFL rookie of the week for his 11/2-sack, five-tackle performance in the win over Seattle. The Bucs won the weekly honor five times last season, three by QB Jameis Winston and two by LB Kwon Alexander.