With Thursday practice is complete, we now have a better idea of whom is or is not going to be able to play this weekend in the NFL. And we’re most concerned with the Buccaneers, the Dolphins and the Jaguars and their matchups.
So, here is what we know to this point:
With Vernon Hargreaves having already been put on injured reserve earlier in the week due to a shoulder injury suffered in the opening game with the Saints, eyes are still trained on veteran Pro Bowl defensive back Brent Grimes. Grimes was, once again, not able to practice on Thursday making it highly unlikely that he will play Sunday against the Eagles. That means the Bucs will rely even more heavily on rookies M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis in their defensive backfield.
Also on the bad news front, defensive tackle Vita Vea is still not practicing, and it’s unlikely that he will be able to make his debut this Sunday. Vea has been out since the first week of training camp with a calf injury. Although coach Dirk Koetter indicated last Friday night to “Sirius/XM NFL Radio” that Vea would be “ready to go soon.” Whatever “soon” means.
The good news for the Bucs is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was able to participate in practice after suffering a slight knee injury during the New Orleans game last Sunday. JPP told the media Wednesday that his knee was “jacked up” but that he intended to play Sunday.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, coming off a 146 yard receiving-two TD game is still into concussion protocol. And while he was out at practice in a limited role, if he is not cleared on Friday, then he will likely miss the game against his former team. Jackson is also suffering from a shoulder injury suffered, when he fell in the end zone being hit in his first quarter touchdown Sunday.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker was back going through the full workout Thursday. It is really the first time that he’s been able to practice in almost a month since suffering a broken finger. And Coach Adam Gase was “optimistic” with the media after practice Thursday that Parker has a chance to be active for this game with the Jets.
The former number one pick three years ago is in a real position battle with Danny Amendola, Albert Lewis and Jakeem Grant for playing time.
Defensive end William Hayes was sporting a cast on his hand Thursday, but was still a full participant in practice.
However, the news was not as good for free agent offensive lineman Josh Sitton, who missed practice for the second consecutive day with a shoulder injury suffered during the win over the Titans Sunday. And as was reported on Friday morning, Sitton will be lost for the season with what is now diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff.
For the second straight practice Leonard Fournette was not able to participate, although he was out at the work out Thursday in a limited role. Coach Doug Marrone has maintained that they would test him slightly on Friday, but the prevailing belief among media and observers in Jacksonville is that Fournette is not going to try to play with his strained hamstring.
Fournette told the media after practice Thursday that the hamstring is feeling better and that he believes he will be a game-time decision to try to play. A paragraph
Center Brandon Linder is also battling a knee sprain, but he was able to finish the game last week in New York, even though it’s limited him in practice this week, Linder is expected to play the all-important game with the Patriots Sunday.
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