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Doug Martin, Robert Ayers likely to miss Buccaneers vs. Broncos

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will once again miss defensive end Robert Ayers, running back Doug Martin and tight end Luke Stocker, as well as backup wide receiver Cecil Shorts. All four players have missed two practices this week, which means they’ll almost certainly miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos.

In slightly better news, the Bucs did get Joe Hawley back at practice the today. The center can probably play against the Broncos, though backup Evan Smith isn’t much (if at all) worse.

As for the Denver Broncos, starters Donald Stephenson, DeMarcus Ware and tight end Virgil Green have missed two days of practice. Neither of them is likely to play on Sunday, and Ware is likely out for at least a couple of games. That’s good news for the Bucs, who now ‘only’ have to deal with Von Miller.

Donald Stephenson may be the second-biggest absence for the Broncos, as the starting tackle missed last week’s game with a calf injury as well. That could give the Bucs’ pass rush a minor boost.