The Bucs not only had 100 percent participation on Friday, they had 100 percent participation at a full capacity. They’ll go into Dallas the healthiest they’ve been all year, save for, of course, the amount of players on Injured Reserve.
Head Coach Dirk Koetter announced following practice Friday that both wide receiver DeSean Jackson and linebacker Adarius Taylor are expected to play on Sunday in Dallas. Though Jackson is listed as questionable, should he play, the Buccaneers will not have anyone inactive due to injury against the Cowboys.
Jackson missed the last three games battling a thumb injury. He returned to practice this week where he was limited on Wednesday before being upgraded to full participation for Thursday and Friday. Jackson’s specialty as a player is his speed and propensity for explosive plays because of it. He’s able to stretch the field vertically, taking pressure off many of his fellow receivers when defenses have to account for his streaking down the field and ability to create separation. It puts defenses in a bind between underneath coverage while letting a defensive back take a guy with Jackson’s speed one-on-one, or dropping more guys into coverage and not getting as much pressure up front. That pressure is something Dallas relies on behind a top-ten passing defense. Head Coach Dirk Koetter mentioned this week that the Cowboys show a lot of single-high safety looks, meaning there isn’t as much safety help deep for guys like Jackson. It’ll be an opportunity for Jackson to go against a long-time division rival and have success in the form of explosive threats, along with the rest of the Bucs’ offense.
“I think you go back, both O.J. [Howard] and DeSean [Jackson] being out, both explosive players,” Monken said. “Having those two guys early in the year allowed us to be a little more explosive. Having DeSean back will be great for this week and […] that’ll help from an explosives standpoint.”
Taylor missed the Bucs’ last game in Baltimore waiting on the birth of his son. Baby Apollo Taylor came on Thursday and mom and baby are both doing well. It means Taylor will be set to go against a formidable Dallas ground game led by Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott.
See below for the full injury report.
WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) – Full Participation – Questionable
T Demar Dotson (knee) – Full Participation
DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder) – Full Participation
DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) – Full Participation
LB Adarius Taylor (non-injury related) – Full Participation
DL David Irving (ankle) – Did Not Participate - Out
TE Geoff Swaim (wrist) – Did Not Participate - Out
WR Tavon Austin (groin) – Limited Participation - Questionable
CB Anthony Brown (hand) – Did Not Participate - Questionable
LB Sean Lee (hamstring) – Limited Participation - Questionable
G Zack Martin (knee) – Limited Participation - Questionable
WR Cole Beasley (foot) – Full Participation
T Tyron Smith (neck) – Full Participation
G Xavier Su’a-Filo (eye) – Full Participation