The Bucs welcomed center Jeff Christy and wide receiver Joe Jurevicius back to practice Wednesday. Christy underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the team's bye week and was held out of the team's last three weeks.
Jurevicius suffered a sprained ankle/knee in the third quarter of Tampa Bay's contest against Carolina on Oct. 27 and he missed the Bucs' game against the Vikings.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden expects Christy and Jurevicius, who are both listed as probable, to play against the Panthers Sunday.
"We gave Christy about 18 to 20 plays," said Gruden. "He looks pretty good to me. We expect him to play, he's that kind of guy. He'll work more tomorrow and if everything goes as planned he'll be the center on Sunday. And Jurevicius looked good today. He still has a little soreness in there. He moved around good today and we expect him to be ready."
Bucs WR Keenan McCardell (fractured scapula), who was sidelined for Tampa Bay's games against the Panthers and Vikings, practiced last week and on Wednesday without any problems. In fact, McCardell is not even listed on the team's injury report. He is also expected to play against the Panthers.
"I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things," said McCardell. "I got a chance to do that a little last week, so it's feeling pretty good. I think I'm still letting it heal, up until Sunday. I'm still going to practice and do the things I know I need to do to get ready, and I expect to play. I'm (excited to get back on the field). I've been itching to get back and now the week is here. Last week was kind of slow, so hopefully this week will go fast and get right into Sunday."
The only Bucs player expected not to play against Carolina is defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, who is still recovering from a fractured forearm he suffered against Carolina a few weeks ago. McFarland has a cast on his right forearm and isn't expected to return to action for at least 2-3 weeks, but the team won't rule out the possibility of "Booger" returning sooner than anticipated.
"We're optimistic about getting him back for the last quarter of the season," said Gruden. "It might not quite be that soon or it could be sooner, knowing McFarland. But he's in there running and working, he's able to run now, which is exciting. His spirits are good and I think he's confident he's making a quick recovery and boy would that be a big lift for us."
PewterReport.com has posted Tampa Bay's injury list below.
BUCS INJURY REPORT:
Probable (Player has a 75 percent chance of playing)
Questionable (Player has a 50 percent chance of playing)
Doubtful (Player has a 25 percent chance of playing)
Out (Player will not play)
DT Anthony McFarland (right forearm fracture) – Out
C Jeff Christy (right knee strain) – Probable
WR Joe Jurevicius (right knee/ankle sprain) - Probable
DT Warren Sapp (lower back strain) - Probable
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