By Max Luckan
At 6-6 and losers of two straight, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to get back on track against the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, who have lost eight games in a row and are in almost complete disarray. The Eagles are looking find any way to salvage a win against the Bucs, but they’ll be without many key players, as has been the norm for the past couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the Bucs have many key players on injured reserve, but have found a way to stay in the playoff hunt without them. However, they’ll have to win most, if not all, games in December in order to secure that playoff berth.
The final injury report was released on Friday, and compared to the Eagles, the Bucs look to be relatively healthy.
Defensive tackle Roy Miller missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to participate fully on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Miller is dealing with a head injury that he suffered in the second quarter of the loss to the Denver Broncos, and Miller wants to be on the field Sunday.
“No doubt,” Miller said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “I feel part of this team, I feel like I have a responsibility of this team. So definitely, I want to go out there. And we’re in the hunt right now. I want to be out there, and we will have to let those guys make that decision.”
If Miller can’t play, sixth-year man Gary Gibson will likely take his place. Miller is vital in stopping the run, so the Bucs hope he will be able to go in order to contain Eagles rookie RB Bryce Brown.
Cornerback LeQuan Lewis did not practice all week and has already been ruled out because of a knee injury suffered late in the game against the Broncos. The injury isn’t as serious as previously thought, but will keep Lewis out of this week’s game.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back D.J. Ware are both listed as probable and are expected to play Sunday.
For the Eagles, it’s been a tough season and the injuries have contributed greatly to that. As expected, running back LeSean McCoy, quarterback Michael Vick, defensive tackle Mike Patterson, tackle Nate Menkin, and safety Kurt Coleman have all been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Rookie Nick Foles will start for Vick, and the Bucs hope to take advantage of his inexperience with a lot of different looks and blitzes. The Eagles will also be missing starting running back LeSean McCoy, who is out with a concussion. Rookie Bryce Brown has played well in his absence, but it will be tough for him against a strong run defense.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has been dealing with a tailbone injury, but he is listed as probable for the Eagles and they will need him against a good Bucs’ running game. Likewise, rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been dealing with a shoulder injury, but is also listed as probable.
The Eagles are dealing with plenty of injuries, but that doesn’t mean they will just roll over. They are still dangerous and have weapons in the passing game, so the Bucs shouldn’t take them lightly.
Full Injury Report
WR Vincent Jackson (calf)
RB D.J. Ware (illness)
DT Roy Miller (head)
CB LeQuan Lewis (knee)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (knee)
G Dallas Reynolds (ankle)
LB Mychal Kendricks (shoulder)
RB Stanley Havili (ankle)
DT Fletcher Cox (tailbone)
S Nate Allen (shoulder)
RB Chris Polk (toe)
T Nate Menkin (throat)
QB Michael Vick (concussion)
DT Mike Patterson (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (concussion)
S Kurt Coleman (chest)
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. You can find more of his work at Examiner.com.