The Buccaneers might suffer from a severe lack of defensive depth come Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
While Mike Edwards and Sean Murphy-Bunting seem poised to return from their absences, which will help the secondary some, Jamel Dean and Vita Vea both appear likely to miss the game after consecutive DNPs. Carl Nassib is also headed for an out designation after missing back-to-back practices with a pectoral injury.
Genard Avery was also downgraded to DNP after being limited on Wednesday with an abdominal injury, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka remained limited with a hip injury. All in all, Anthony Nelson is currently the only healthy outside linebacker, which means the team may have to use a practice squad call-up on someone like Charles Snowden or recently signed Hamilcar Rashed, Jr. Either solution is not ideal.
Julio Jones did not participate again with a recurrent knee issue, putting him back into question after several weeks of being active. Tristan Wirfs upgraded from DNP to limited, but Todd Bowles already put his status in doubt so it seems improbable for him to be back this week.
On the Bengals side, the only notable changes were rookie safety Dax Hill and edge rusher Joseph Ossai coming back to full participation. Notable players like edge Trey Hendrickson, slot corner Mike Hilton and tight end Hayden Hurst did not participate again, which casts doubt on their ability to play.
Statuses for receivers Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Trent Taylor will need continued monitoring as they all remain limited but will likely try their best to push for playing time.
Here’s the full report: