Adam Humphries practiced and Demar Dotson did not, but in the end neither one was cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol in time to suit up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday against New Orleans.
Humphries is the team's third-leading receiver and primary punt returner while Dotson has started every game this season at right tackle. They both entered the concussion protocol after last weekend's win in San Diego and cannot be eligible to play in a game until they have finished that process. Humphries appeared to be farther along in the process than Dotson when he participated in practice on Thursday and Friday, but they will both miss at least one game.
Two other Buccaneer starters have already been ruled out for Sunday's game on the official injury report, as well. Safety Chris Conte will miss a second consecutive outing due to a chest injury, although Head Coach Dirk Koetter characterized his eventual return as being "sooner rather than later." Tight end Luke Stocker, who suffered an ankle injury on the Bucs' first play from scrimmage last Sunday, did not practice all week and will miss Sunday's contest, as well.
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Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy practiced in a limited fashion on Friday after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday due to a foot injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. McCoy followed the same pattern last week and was able to play against the Chargers, notching his team-leading seventh sack of the season.
Though not specifically linking his remarks to McCoy's status, Koetter said it's not uncommon for experienced veterans with nagging injuries to practice only lightly and still play on Sunday.
"When you have guys that [are] proven players and have played multiple years, you've just got to be smart about it," said the coach. "They know if they can play, those guys know if they can play and what they need. We've got to save our body, we don't need to keep beating these guys up in Week 14 or whatever it is, it's just not smart. They know if they can go."
Center Evan Smith has missed three games due to a knee injury suffered against Chicago in Week 10 but might be able to return to the field on Sunday. He is questionable heading into the weekend after progressing from limited practice participation on Wednesday and Thursday to full-go on Friday.