TAMPA — The Bucs may again be shorthanded for Sunday's home game against Jacksonville, with four key players still sidelined as the team returned to practice Wednesday.
CB Johnthan Banks (knee), C Evan Smith (ankle), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) and WR Russell Shepard (hamstring), who all missed Sunday's loss to Carolina, remained out during Wednesday's drills. TE Luke Stocker, who missed Sunday's game with a hip injury, was back practicing in a limited capacity.
"(They) aren't quite ready to practice," said coach Lovie Smith, who had DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder) as again being limited in practice.
WELCOME BACK: Connor Barth, the Bucs' kicker from 2009-12, is glad to be back in a familiar locker room. He is taking over kicking duties from rookie Kyle Brindza, who was cut Monday after missing six field goals and two extra points.
"At the end of the day, it's a business, and I'm just looking forward to helping this team win some games," said Barth, who was signed after a tryout with four other kickers Tuesday.
Brindza worked out for the Saints on Wednesday but was not signed, per his agent, Eugene Lee.
SHIFT COMING?: The Bucs secondary had a different look, with Sterling Moore, the nickel back for the first four games, working with the cornerbacks and Alterraun Verner, who opened the season as a starting cornerback, working at nickel.
The move suggests Banks is unlikely to play Sunday and the Bucs are shifting Moore to upgrade their depth at corner behind starters Tim Jennings and Mike Jenkins. Verner's playing time has decreased each week despite Banks' injury.
"Alterraun Verner is not out of our plans by any means," Smith said. "We will find a way to get him on the football field. He's going to help us win a lot of games around here."
TRANSACTION: Acknowledging that kickoffs are less likely to result in touchbacks with Barth taking over as kicker, the Bucs re-signed LB Orie Lemon, who was a key part of their special teams coverage last season. Lemon, who had five special-teams tackles last year, takes over for DE Josh Martin, who was waived-injured after a hamstring injury Sunday.
THIS AND THAT: Sunday's Bucs-Panthers game had an announced attendance of 57,468, but the actual attendance according to the Tampa Sports Authority was 48,648, which is down 15 percent from the actual crowd of 57,286 in the Bucs' home opener three weeks earlier. … Jacksonville listed eight players as not practicing Wednesday due to injury, including LB Paul Posluszny. TE Julius Thomas, who has missed four games with a hand injury, was listed as having limited participation.
Contact Greg Auman at email@example.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.