Three Key Players Return to Buccaneers' Practice

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need all the help they can get if they want to claw their way out of a 3-5 start to the regular season, and Wednesday's practice may be a good start. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, cornerback Carlton Davis, and tight end Cameron Brate were all present for today's session after missing Thursday Night Football's 27-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Brate has missed the past two games following a concussion suffered in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Davis has missed the previous two weeks with a hip injury. Hicks has been out since suffering a foot injury in a Week 2 20-10 win against the New Orleans Saints.

Of the three, Davis plays the largest role on the Bucs. The team signed the young defensive back to a three-year, $44.5 million deal this past offseason to preserve his status as the team's top corner. His return, as well as the addition of Hicks, should provide a boost to a defense that has allowed 796 total yards over the past two weeks.

Brate was dominating snaps at tight end before his injury, but the team may not be inclined to return him to a significant role. Rookies Cade Otton and Ko Kieft have combined for 104 receiving yards on 12 targets over their last two games, potentially earning more substantial snaps. Brate has totalled 114 yards on 22 targets over his five appearances this year.

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