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Brian Kelly practice on Thursday without limitations, strengthening the likelihood that the veteran cornerback would be ready for Sunday's game with St. Louis.
Kelly practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday. He missed last week's game with a groin injury.
"He wouldn't be full-go [in practice] if he wasn't close to being ready to play," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. "Once again, we'll see how he feels tomorrow and we'll make our final decision on game day."
The Hilliard injury is new and it could further sap the depth at wide receiver, if Hilliard is unable to go on Sunday. That would allow either Michael Clayton or Maurice Stovall — who have one catch between them in two games — to start in Hilliard's place.
"Hopefully, we'll see if he's ready to go tomorrow," Gruden said.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.