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Bucs TE Seferian-Jenkins may be near return

It’s too early to know if Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who caught two TDs in the season opener, will be able to play Sunday.
It’s too early to know if Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who caught two TDs in the season opener, will be able to play Sunday.
Published Oct. 29, 2015

TAMPA — With WR Vincent Jackson expected to miss Sunday's game with a knee injury, the Bucs got much-needed good news on the injury front Wednesday as TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins practiced for the first time in five weeks.

"It's a step in the right direction with him," coach Lovie Smith said. "Once we get him back, it's going to help our offense. … We're not there yet. Austin practiced on a limited basis."

Seferian-Jenkins injured his shoulder in a Week 2 win against the Saints and hasn't played since. He had a promising start to the season with two touchdowns in the opening loss to the Titans, but it's too early to know if he can play Sunday in Atlanta.

The Bucs were without two defensive tackles Wednesday: starter Clinton McDonald and backup Tony McDaniel both watched practice. McDonald injured a pectoral muscle in Sunday's game, Smith said, while McDaniels missed the game with a groin injury. T Reid Fragel remains sidelined as well as he is in the league's concussion protocol.

WR Russell Shepard, who has been inactive for the past three games with a hamstring injury, was a full participant in practice, while C Evan Smith (ankle), DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder) and S Major Wright (hamstring) were limited.

MEA CULPA: Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter took responsibility for the failed third-and-goal play at the Redskins 1-yard line Sunday that prevented a putaway touchdown in the Bucs' loss.

The running play with Charles Sims lost 2 yards and resulted in a 21-yard field goal and a 30-24 lead with 2:24 left in the game. Washington took the ensuing kickoff and drove 80 yards for a touchdown and a 31-30 victory.

"Everybody get this straight: I screwed it up," Koetter said. "Nobody else. I screwed it up. Plain and simple. We had a check play on where we were checking on the goal line based on overload personnel. They had some injuries so they switched some guys around. I gave Jameis (Winston) bad information. One hundred, 1,000, whatever number you want to use, percent on me. Nobody else. Simple. That's simple. Put that to bed. I screwed it up. I've got to live with it. I feel horrible. I can't take it back. I did it."

NEW ADDITIONS: The team added four players to the practice squad, most notably former USF WR Andre Davis, an undrafted rookie who was with the Bills until their final cuts. The team also added G Ryan Groy and re-signed two players who had been with the practice squad before, DT Derrick Lott and LB Julian Stanford.

THIS AND THAT: Smith said that CB Tim Jennings, who went from starting to being inactive in Sunday's loss, handled the temporary demotion well: "This is a new week for Tim. … As far as what his role will be this week, we'll see," he said. … RB Doug Martin, on last year's loss in Atlanta, which saw the Falcons go up 56-0 at one point: "Definitely it's something you don't forget. We'll keep that in the back of our minds as we play." … Former Bucs K Kyle Brindza could face his old team next week, as he was one of four kickers who worked out for the Giants on Tuesday. No signings have been announced.

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Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report. Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman and @NFLstroud.


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