"(They've improved) a little bit," said Gruden. "I wouldn't say dramatically or they'd be practicing, because those are two of the toughest guys that you could ever coach. Those guys have legitimate injuries and right know it's questionable that they're going to be able to play in a game."
Tampa Bay's defense, which is ranked 2nd overall in the league, would certainly like to have Lynch and McFarland in the starting lineup when Cleveland, who is ranked 10th in total offense in the NFL, invades Raymond James Stadium. If Lynch can't go on Sunday, Bucs second-year S John Howell will start in his place. Tampa Bay backup DT Chartric Darby will likely fill in for McFarland if he can't play against Cleveland.
In other injury-related news, Tampa Bay right tackle Kenyatta Walker (ankle sprain) practiced for the second consecutive day on Thursday, which is a strong indication that he'll be ready to play on Sunday. But Gruden said the team would not make a decision on whether Walker or RT Cornell Green will start until later this week.
"We're just going to keep looking at them," Gruden said of Walker and Green. "They're both doing well. Kenyatta had a good day physically, and we'll see who starts the game. We'll probably decide Friday or Saturday."
PewterReport.com will post an updated Bucs-Browns injury report on Friday afternoon. The Buccaneers will host the Browns at Ray-Jay on Sunday afternoon. Remember – the kickoff time was changed from 4:15 to 1:00 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on CBS.
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