TAMPA — The Bucs' starters are likely to play into the second quarter and not much longer in Saturday's preseason opener at the Vikings, but that will take nothing away from the thrill of finally hitting someone who isn't a teammate."It's exciting. You hit your guys for so many weeks," DE George Johnson said after Thursday's practice. "It feels good to go up against somebody else for a change, different scheme, where nobody really knows what you do. It's going to be exciting to see this defense come alive and start to work together."The Bucs had a wild day Thursday. Practice initially was bumped because of rain to 2:45 p.m., then stopped because of nearby lightning after about 40 minutes. They then announced practice would be held at 6:30 at Tropicana Field — on turf, like they'll play on on Saturday — but after the rain let up, the Bucs stayed home and practiced at dusk at One Buc Place. DOWN TO TWO: After briefly carrying three punters on the roster, the Bucs waived former Browns starter Spencer Lanning , leaving newly signed Karl Schmitz as the lone challenger to returning starter Michael Koenen .The Bucs will keep the roster spot open until after Saturday's game, guarding against a sudden need for an injury replacement. THE OLD DOUG: RB Doug Martin was asked about the last time he felt as healthy as he does now, and a smile emerged as he answered: "Rookie year."Entering his fourth NFL season, Martin is hoping his production can return to 2012 levels as well. He rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie, and caught 49 passes for 472 yards and another score. In two seasons limited by injury since then, in 17 total games, he has rushed for a combined 950 yards and three touchdowns, with just 130 receiving yards."I've got to take care of my body. If I take care of my body and stay in my playbook, I'll be just fine," Martin said. "(Spending) more time in the training room, even if I'm not injured. It's all about injury prevention. That's something I'm going to do better." INJURY UPDATE: DE T.J. Fatinikun missed a third straight day of practice with an undisclosed injury. Coach Lovie Smith wouldn't say whether he would play Saturday. S Chris Conte , who has not practiced since the first day of camp due to a hamstring injury, will not play.G Logan Mankins , who had missed two practices with illness, returned to practice, as did CB Sterling Moore , who was held out Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. YOU, TOO: Smith said the team will travel with even injured players, to make sure all get familiar with the routine of a road game and the schedule leading up to kickoff."Unless someone just can't travel, we travel everybody, whether they play or not," he said. THIS AND THAT: The Bucs had both rookie linemen — LT Donovan Smith and RG Ali Marpet — working with the second-team line, with Kevin Pamphile at left tackle and Garrett Gilkey at right guard. Gilkey also worked as the second-team center. With Josh Allen (ankle) out, the Bucs have only starter Evan Smith and backup Jeremiah Warren as true centers for Saturday. … Look for the third string, including many undrafted rookies, to play the fourth quarter Saturday. Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.