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Ali Marpet returns to practice Wednesday

It doesn’t mean he will play, but it’s certainly a good sign.

Green Bay Packers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs missed Marpet against the Saints.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

If you watched just five minutes of the Sunday Night Football contest between the Bucs and Saints, then it was pretty easy to see how much Tampa Bay’s offense missed Ali Marpet.

The six-year veteran —and Tampa Bay’s best offensive lineman— missed the game due to a concussion he suffered in the win over the Giants on Monday Night Football. The end result was a 38-3 loss that saw the Saints sack Tom Brady three times, hit him nine times, and pressure him a total of 13 times. Brady dropped back 26 times in that game, so that final number means he saw pressure on 50% of his snaps.

Oh, and the Bucs ran the ball just five times, which set a new NFL record for the lowest amount of rushing attempts in a game. Ever.

That’s obviously bad news. Fortunately, the Bucs and their fans received some good news on Wednesday concerning Marpet. Per Bruce Arians, Marpet is in the final phase of concussion protocol.

This isn’t a guarantee that Marpet plays against the Panthers, but it’s still very encouraging news in regard to his status. Tampa Bay would certainly receive a major boost if he is back out on the field come Sunday.