"Derrick Brooks returned to practice," said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. "He's feeling better. We're still listing him as questionable, but we're pleased to see him out there, obviously. Brian Kelly practiced."
Brooks is nursing a sore hamstring he strained during Monday night's game. But the team would love to have him play against the Bengals, especially since he's recorded 20 tackles, intercepted three passes and returned two of them for touchdowns in three games this season.
Kelly is nursing a shoulder sprain, which he suffered on Monday night as well. If Kelly is unable to go, second-year CB Dwight Smith will start alongside CB Ronde Barber on Sunday. Bucs second-year CB Corey Ivy would then fill Smith's spot as the team's nickel corner.
The Buccaneers also upgraded starting left guard Kerry Jenkins from doubtful to questionable for the team's game against the Bengals. Jenkins suffered a cracked fibula against the Rams on Monday night. While Jenkins now has a 50 percent chance of playing on Sunday, the team is preparing to play without him. If Jenkins can't play, backup C/G Todd Washington will start at left guard in his place.
Bucs tackle Lomas Brown didn't attend practice on Thursday. His absence was excused as he was attending a funeral.
In other news, Tampa Bay starting left tackle Roman Oben was fined $5,000 by the league on Wednesday for leg-whipping St. Louis defensive Grant Wistrom during the Bucs-Rams game last Monday night. Oben was not penalized on the play.
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