Both wide receiver Vincent Jackson and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins have practiced with the Bucs, which could indicate a return to the lineup. Jackson injured his knee in the team’s loss to Washington, while Seferian-Jenkins was hurt against New Orleans in the second game of the year.
Without them, quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown mostly to receiver Mike Evans.
“Yes, I think we had one guy out [of practice] besides that – that’s why we really can’t tell you on a Friday,” Smith said. “We have 48 hours or so before the game. Once you get close, every hour counts. As soon as Vince is ready to go we’re ready for him.”
Jackson has gained 1,000 or more receiving yards in six of the past seven seasons.
In other news, the Eagles ruled out Sam Bradford and will go with backup Mark Sanchez against the Bucs.
Seferian-Jenkins is a young player whose talent has been praised, but so far, he has been injury prone. He has seven catches on the year.
“I try not to speculate an awful lot,” Smith said. “I know he was limited today. Limited today, couldn’t do everything. [He’s] getting better. That’s where we are. Seferian-Jenkins hasn’t been cleared to do anything [full contact], but he’s doing everything he’s supposed to do. The guy has been injured and he hasn’t been cleared so once he’s cleared we’ll get him back out there full-time, full-speed, all that – he’s not there yet.”
Going into the season, the receiving corps seemed to be the strongest unit on the offense. But injuries have kept it from being so. Besides Jackson and Seferian-Jenkins, the team has lost Louis Murphy for the year.
It would be good if the Bucs could get healthy against the Eagles, who are 16th in the NFL against the pass.