TAMPA — For Bucs fans who were concerned to see DT Gerald McCoy walking off the field with an injured right arm in the final two minutes of Sunday's win over the Saints, coach Lovie Smith says not to worry.
"Should be fine. Good to go," Smith said Monday. "A physical game like that, you have to take a few plays off every once in a while, but Gerald should be good to go."
As the Saints started a final drive, needing a touchdown to tie, McCoy was engaged with New Orleans LG Tim Lelito, who was flagged on the play for illegal hands to the face. McCoy dropped to one knee after the play and had a trainer hold his arm as he walked off the field.
McCoy didn't return, but the Bucs held on for a 26-19 win, and he said after the game that he would be okay, not specifying details about the injury.
Smith said the team would monitor injuries to two offensive starters this week. C Evan Smith missed the final 28 plays Sunday after RB Doug Martin was tackled into his right ankle, and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is limited by a shoulder injury. The Bucs won't have to go into more detail until they resume practice Wednesday.
Little things: As much as there were big plays Sunday, Smith said he was impressed by the sheer number of players who contributed small things to the victory, like CB Johnthan Banks making an open-field tackle at the goal line to stop the Saints on a 2-point conversion and keep it a 10-point lead for the Bucs in the fourth quarter.
"We had so many individual plays like that throughout the day, so many guys," Smith said.
Banks brought down WR Willie Snead, keeping the Saints two scores away as they made a push to get back from 16 points down in the fourth.
"It's just flying around, trying to be aggressive," Banks said. "I knew we had to get a stop, and I did what I was coached to do and made a play."
Transaction: The Bucs released backup LB Orie Lemon, who signed last week as an injury replacement. Lemon, who played extensively for Tampa Bay last season, had the second-most special-teams snaps on the team with 17 Sunday. No corresponding move was announced, but the Bucs have two linebackers on the practice squad, Julian Stanford and rookie Josh Keyes.
This and that: Per ESPN research, Jameis Winston is the first rookie quarterback taken No. 1 overall to win a road start in September since John Elway in 1983. Since then, QBs taken No. 1 overall had gone 0-16 on the road in September, with Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck among those who couldn't pull it off. … After three sacks Sunday, DE Jacquies Smith is tied for the NFL lead with four. Texans DE J.J. Watt, who faces the Bucs on Sunday in Houston, is among those with three. … Without much of a running game, Ryan Mallett had 58 pass attempts for Houston in its loss Sunday at Carolina. Match that this week, and it would be the third-most by a Bucs opponent. Drew Brees had 61 in a 2012 game, and Minnesota's Steve Dils had 62 in 1981.
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Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.