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Bucs could get their receiving corps together again vs. Eagles

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The Tampa Bay Bucs seem closer to having their regular group of wide receivers to play against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday.

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.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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