Buccaneers Short Trio of Stars at Practice

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to get back on track after a frustrating Week 6 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they'll have to fight through some lingering injuries to do it. Wide receiver Julio Jones, tight end Cameron Brate, and defensive tackle were all absent from Wednesday's practice. Brate suffered a frightening neck injury during Week 6 that resulted in his leaving the field on a stretcher, but Monday reports suggested it wasn't as serious as initially feared. Still, he should be considered unlikely to return for Week 7.

Jones has been consistently unavailable since a Week 1 knee injury. He briefly appeared in the team's Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, notching a single reception on 18 snaps. His status has gone down to the wire in multiple weeks, but his game-time decisions have largely ended in him sitting out.

Hicks suffered a foot injury in the Buccaneer's Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints. He avoided injured reserve, indicating the team expected him to return within four games. Week 6's matchup with the Steelers was his fourth missed contest.

The Buccaneers face the Carolina Panthers in Week 7, a team they've enjoyed great success against in recent years. Under quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs have outscored the Panthers 150-63 in four straight wins. But at 3-3, the stumbling Buccaneers can't take anything for granted. Anything but a full-strength squad should come as a huge concern to fans.
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