Lavonte David missed his second consecutive day of practice with a hamstring injury, per Matt Baker, making it highly unlikely that the star linebacker will be able to suit up on Sunday. The Bucs will be hard-pressed to adequately replace their star linebacker, who's been a tackling machine and the glue that has held the ruins of a defense together. Without David, the run defense won't be close to what it was -- though the pass defense may be able to function adequately.
It's not clear who would replace David if he can't go. Danny Lansanah could slide over to weakside linebacker, with Dane Fletcher, Brandon Magee or new addition Orie Lemon taking over at strongside linebacker. Or one of the latter two could step in for David. Regardless, given the Bucs' penchant for keeping two linebackers on the field at all times, whoever replaces David is going to be on the field a lot -- and that could be a massive problem for the team's defense.
In slightly more positive news, Charles Sims didn't seem hampered by his ankle injury, and Doug Martin and Alterraun Verner appeared to be fully healthy, too, according to Greg Auman. Martin is likely to make his return after an injury-inflicted three-game absence on Sunday, but the heft of his workload has yet to be determined. Lovie Smith's remarks yesterday seemed to imply that they'd focus on giving Sims a bigger role in the gameplan, which means Martin will take a back seat to him and possibly Bobby Rainey, too.
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