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Lavonte David, Brandin Cooks, Jahri Evans miss Thursday practice

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have to play Sunday's game without Lavonte David. The linebacker tweaked his ankle in practice yesterday and was not able to participate today. If he can't go, the Bucs are likely to line up either Bruce Carter or newly re-signed Orie Lemon in his place, and with Kwon Alexander suspended for four games that would represent a massive blow to the Bucs defense.

The team is mostly healthy beyond David, though. The only other player to miss practice today was defensive end Jacquies Smith, while Vincent Jackson and William Gholston were upgraded to full participation. Gerald McCoy continues to be limited and if he can play on Sunday, he'll have to do so with a cast on his hand, Leslie Frazier said today.

As for the New Orleans Saints, they had two major absences today: Brandin Cooks was out with a concussion, which is new and means he'll have to pass a concussion test to play on Sunday. Guard Jahri Evans was limited with an ankle injury yesterday but, like Lavonte David, missed today's practice. In addition, tackle Zach Strief was absent, as was tackle Terron Armstead. For those counting: that's three starting offensive linemen and their best receiver out of practice for the Saints today.