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Charles Sims and Doug Martin injured, Robert Ayers returns to practice

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep running into more injury problems. This week’s: running back Charles Sims has missed two practices this week, which is not good news — especially so because Doug Martin isn’t healthy either, and is likely to miss Monday Night’s game against the Carolina Panthers after being out for the past two weeks.

If Sims can’t go, Jacquizz Rodgers becomes the Bucs’ main running back by default — though Dirk Koetter had already implied he’d give Rodgers more of a chance as the lead back, with Sims acting mostly in his traditional role of change-of-pace and receiving back.

This wouldn’t be Tampa Bay if there weren’t more injuries, though. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and defensive end Noah Spence are both missing from practice after suffering injuries last Sunday. According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, Spence has a chance to return for Monday’s game — though I’d sooner expect him to be back after the week six bye. The same is true for McCoy.

In some good news, though, defensive end Robert Ayers participated on a limited basis after missing the last two games. Getting him back would be a major boost for the Bucs defense, which has really struggled with him out. Tight end Luke Stocker, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Brandon Myers were also limited, which bodes well for their Monday night availability.

As for the Carolina Panthers, they are really, really injured. A whopping seven players were held out of today’s practice, most notably running back Jonathan Stewart, linebacker Thomas Davis, quarterback Cam Newton and offensive tackle Michael Oher. The latter two have concussions, which means they have to pass the concussion protocol before they can play.