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Bucs DE Will Gholston dislocates elbow, unlikely to play Saturday

Bucs defensive end William Gholston, signalling for a fumble recovery during the second half, is likely to miss Saturday’s game but could return this season.
Bucs defensive end William Gholston, signalling for a fumble recovery during the second half, is likely to miss Saturday’s game but could return this season.
Published Dec. 20, 2016

TAMPA — The Bucs are expected to play the Saints on Saturday without starting DE Will Gholston, who dislocated his right elbow late in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys.

Gholston suffered the painful injury and had the elbow reset by team trainers, and he was wearing a sling on his right arm in the locker room after the game.

Coach Dirk Koetter said Gholston could still play again, but this week would be unlikely.

Gholston, an unrestricted free agent next spring, leads all Bucs defensive linemen in total tackles (49) and tackles for loss (nine). He had a sack and four tackles Sunday before his injury.

BACK, BUT NOT: The Bucs get nickel CB Jude Adjei-Barimah back this week from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, but Koetter said he is still dealing with an undisclosed injury and is unlikely to play Saturday.

The Bucs have gotten good play from undrafted rookie Javien Elliott, who has been the nickel in the past three games and had four tackles in each of the past two.

HIGH MARKS: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott went 32-for-36 in Sunday's win, setting a record for a Bucs opponent's completion percentage. Atlanta's Matt Ryan had the mark with a 21-for-24 game (87.5 percent) in 2014, but Prescott completed 88.9 percent of his passes.

It's the second-highest completion percentage ever in a game with 30-plus pass attempts, trailing Rich Gannon's 34-for-38 game (89.5 percent) with Oakland in 2002.

Cowboys rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 159 yards, the most against the Bucs in nearly five years, dating to Atlanta's Michael Turner getting 172 at the end of the 2011 season.

RATINGS HIT: The Bucs-Cowboys game scored a 15.3 average national rating, the second-best overnight rating this season for NBC Sunday Night Football, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg market rating was 23.0, meaning 23 percent of the market's 1.86 million households watched the Bucs play on NBC's Sunday Night Football for only the second time in team history. That rating, good for sixth among 56 major markets, translates to approximately 428,000 homes.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.