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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Some good-some bad news on Buccaneers injury front

Florida Football Insiders



Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers were back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon and have a mixed bag of injury news, as they prepare to open the season at New Orleans Sunday. Your paragraph

First, the good news, after suffering a left knee injury during a training camp workout a couple of weeks ago, left tackle Donovan Smith was back practicing in a limited role Wednesday. Although the Bucs have never specifically said it, it’s believed he suffered a knee ligament sprain.

And, it’s at least a positive for his chances to play on Sunday that he has resumed trying to practice.

Smith has started every game of his three-year career, now at 48 straight and counting. If he is unable to start or finish the game, Tampa Bay intends to use veteran former undrafted free agent backup Leonard Wester in his place.

Unfortunately, as expected, first round draft pick defensive tackle Vita Vea is still unable to practice and was listed as did not participate on Tampa Bay’s injury list Wednesday.

Vea has been slowed by a calf injury suffered in the first week of training camp. And even though the Buccaneers exhaled that it was not a serious injury, it still appears it may be another week or two before he’s able to play.

The Bucs depth at defensive tackle has been challenged further, when Chicago free agent Mitch Unrein suffered a concussion at the beginning of training camp and now has been placed on injured reserve.

That led us to speculate earlier in the week about Tampa Bay possibly turning to former defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. McDonald played in Tampa Bay for the previous four seasons, but was not resigned by the Bucs. He signed a two year deal with the Denver Broncos, but they released him during the final cuts this past weekend. And, he is currently a free agent.

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