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Vincent Jackson, Bruce Carter, Logan Mankins in doubt for Buccaneers

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have to play on Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams with a decimated team. They lost three players to injury during yesterday's loss against the New Orleans Saints, with Vincent Jackson, Bruce Carter and Akeem Spence all leaving the game with various injuries.

Lovie Smith today said that none of the three starters would have been able to practice today had they practiced, while he also added that Logan Mankins would have been unable to practice, via Rick Stroud.

It's unclear how serious any of those injuries are. Carter  had to be helped off the field with an iced ankle, so it seems unlikely that he'd return to play on Thursday night, while Jackson has had recurring knee problems this season causing him to miss multiple games.

In the worst case scenario, the Bucs will have to play the Rams without any of those players. That would mean inserting Kevin Pamphile at left guard, a restricted passing game without Jackson, moving Danny Lansanah to middle linebacker and plugging in Tony McDaniel at nose tackle, likely signing another player to augment a rotation that's already hurt by Clinton McDonald being on injured reserve, and Gerald McCoy's broken hand. Worse yet, it would mean once again turning to undrafted rookies Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries as the number two receivers.