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Austin Seferian-Jenkins likely to miss yet another game with shoulder injury

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Seferian-Jenkins' shoulder injury is starting to get almost comical. The tight end still has not been cleared for contact, Lovie Smith told Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times today, and Roy Cumming of the Tampa Tribune says his participation against the Indianapolis Colts is "not looking good" and he's likely to be listed as doubtful, after being questionable (more likely to play) the past games. All of that despite the fact that Adam Schefter reported last Sunday that the Bucs expected him back against the Colts.

Seferian-Jenkins' participation has been a weekly question, and he's been a game-time decision the past two weeks -- though both times, Adam Schefter knew early Sunday morning that the tight end would not play. Seferian-Jenkins suffered a shoulder injury in week two and it's now kept him out for nine games. Apparently the Bucs feel that his contributions when healthy are important enough to keep him on the roster for all that time.

Fans' frustrations with his injury have been exacerbated by the Bucs' coyness with the injury, which initially created the appearance that he'd be out for several weeks -- not half a season or more. Pewter Report reported several weeks ago that his shoulder injury was "significant," noting that they'd heard (but couldn't confirm) that he'd suffered a dislocated shoulder and using terms like "legitimate" and "severe" to describe the injury. Greg Auman says his understanding is that he sprained the AC joint in his shoulder. The significant recovery time would imply structural shoulder damage as a result of whatever happened.

It should be noted that this isn't really Seferian-Jenkins' fault. He's repeatedly noted that he wants to play -- but he doesn't get to make the call as to whether he's cleared to play. The trainers simply have not deemed his shoulder healed enough to where he can go out there and play with contact. That's frustrating for fans, but also has to be for the tight end himself.