1. Bucs

Decision to replace Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph could go into next week

Published Aug. 31, 2012

TAMPA — The Bucs knew replacing two-time Pro Bowl RG Davin Joseph would be difficult.

And it appears the decision could go into next week.

Ever since Joseph, out for the season, tore the patellar tendon in his right knee in the third preseason game Aug. 24, the Bucs said they'd let the competition within determine the answer.

Jamon Meredith and Ted Larsen played right guard Wednesday against the Redskins, and each took first-team reps during Thursday's practice. But coach Greg Schiano said nobody has emerged as the front-runner.

"There was no, 'Wow, that's the guy!' " Schiano said. "I think it is the cumulative body of work."

Larsen, 25, from Palm Harbor and entering his third season, has started 14 games for the Bucs over the past two seasons. Meredith, a tackle entering his fourth season who before Wednesday hadn't played a game at guard since college, has appeared in 17 NFL games, starting four (for the Bills in 2009).

"Just being Year 3 … you start to get in a little bit of a rhythm and feel more confident," Larsen said.

Madu out: The agent for Mossis Madu said the running back will be among today's cuts.

ON TRACK: WR Arrelious Benn and DT Amobi Okoye are seeing progress with their knee injuries and could play in the opener.

Benn, sidelined since the first day of training camp with a sprained right knee, has been increasing his activity daily and getting more work during the early part of practice.

"It's tough sitting there watching," Benn said. "I went through an injury my rookie year, but I only missed one game. To sit there and watch a whole training camp go by is tough. But I'm not worried about anything. I'm just glad to be back."

Okoye, a key to the depth on the defensive line, said he has seen progress since arthroscopic surgery in June. But a history of issues with the knee and an initial setback in his recovery complicated matters.

"I did the conditioning test (on July 28), and it felt good after that," Okoye said. "I played in Miami (in the preseason opener). But I just think the constant beating and beating on it was an issue. It had some swelling, and I just needed to continue to rehab it.

"I'm out there practicing on and off, and I'm basically just getting it ready for Sundays. Right now, it's feeling better than it was even before the conditioning test."

MORE MEDICAL: Schiano said CB E.J. Biggers (broken left foot) is getting better but won't be ready for the opener. … LB Mason Foster (hamstring), held out of the final two preseason games, said he "definitely" will be ready for the opener.


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