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The Bucs defense is injury-wracked again

The Bucs will likely miss three starters against the New York Giants.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to once again line up with a severely injury-hampered defense against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Starting middle linebacker Kwon Alexander was ruled out for the second consecutive game with a hamstring injury. Linebacker Lavonte David and safety T.J. Ward missed every practice this week, though they weren’t officially ruled out: both are listed as doubtful. It’s hard to see a scenario in which they actually play, though.

Kendell Beckwith should replace Kwon Alexander as he did the past two games, to pretty good effect. Adarius Glanton should replace David, because that’s what happened when David went out late last Sunday. And Devante Bond should get his first regular season playing time in his career at strongside linebacker.

Other than those three rather significant absences the Bucs are almost entirely, healthy though. Everyone else participated fully on Sunday, including cornerback Brent Grimes, and while a few players are listed as questionable, they should be ready to go.

As for the New York Giants, they’re mostly healthy. They placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on injured reserve, but every other player is listed as questionable at worst. Jon Casillas is least likely to play, given that he missed every practice this week, while defensive end Olivier Vernon should at minimum be limited in-game given that he was only able to practice on Friday, and even then on a limited basis.