By Max Luckan
The injuries are actually starting to pile up for the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And as the team heads into CenturyLink Field – the toughest place to play in the NFL – to face the Seattle Seahawks, the Bucs will need and welcome all the help they can get.
At 0-7, the Bucs have virtually no shot at making the playoffs. But they would be wise to try and do a couple things against the Seahawks. For one, an upset win would be huge for rookie quarterback Mike Glennon’s confidence. And two, the Bucs have to start looking at the future, which means protecting some key players.
A report emerged this week that Bucs right guard Davin Joseph was actually the fourth Bucs player that contracted MRSA. While Joseph denied the report, it is not a complete stretch.
As he recovered from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee in the offseason, Joseph contracted a staph infection, which was the setback that forced him to miss Organized Team Activities and parts of training camp. But Joseph vehemently denied ever having MRSA.
“I never had MRSA. I do not have MRSA and never had MRSA, plain and simple,” Joseph said. “I had a staph infection over the summertime, but it wasn’t MRSA.”
Joseph has struggled a bit this season and hasn’t been at full strength, as his road to recovery has been a long one.
“It’s tough. But it’s coming back,” Joseph told reporters. “It’s also getting back in football. I don’t take a snap in OTAs and training camp and then you’re kind of thrown into the fire. But progressively you get better and better every day.”
The Bucs did not complete practice on Thursday, meaning that an injury report was not available.
However, guard Carl Nicks and running back Jeff Demps have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game as they recover from surgeries.
Bucs running back Doug Martin, dealing with the torn labrum in his shoulder, did not practice Wednesday and is a longshot to play against Seattle. Linebacker Mason Foster was limited in practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury, and his status is up in the air for this week’s game.
Along with Foster, safety Mark Barron (hip), safety Dashon Goldson (knee), defensive tackle Derek Landri (back), and linebacker Dekoda Watson (shoulder) were all limited in Wednesday’s session. Goldson missed last Thursday’s game against the Panthers, so he should be ready to play again this week.
The Seahawks also did not make in injury report available for Thursday’s shortened practice, but a few players did not participate at all in practice on Wednesday.
Defensive end Michael Bennett, the former Bucs player, had an illness and was held out of practice but he should be able to play against his former team. Running back Marshawn Lynch, the anchor of Seattle’s offense, missed practice due to a knee injury. But Lynch should still be able to play on Sunday as he has done in the past.
Backup guard Breno Giacomini missed practice with knee injury, safety Jeron Johnson did not participate because of a hamstring issue, and starting guard J.R. Sweezy missed practice because of an elbow injury.
If Sweezy is unable to play, either Giacomini or guard James Carpenter would take his place, but that would be a huge loss for the Seahawks offense.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
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. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.