NFL Wire News

Bucs DT McCoy, LB David take part in limited practice


TAMPA, Fla. – Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy declined Thursday to reveal the exact extent of the right knee injury that forced him to leave last Sunday’s game at the Detroit Lions for a few series. Coach Lovie Smith called it a bruised knee. What wasn’t in question was McCoy’s determination to return to the playing field even if he was less than 100 percent.

“I love my team and I feel like my team needs me,” McCoy said “Not just every Sunday, but every day. There is no room for error with me. I feel like regardless what happens, my team needs me.

It’s not even just from my performance, but from my mentality, my leadership ability and my presence … I see my guys out there competing and giving it everything they had. I’ve been out before and didn’t have an opportunity to go out there at that point. This time I had an opportunity to go in and I was out there. I told them I would be back and went out there and competed.”

Did team doctors tell him it was okay to play?

“I just went back out there,” McCoy said. “I was going to play, so I played.”

McCoy took part in limited practice Thursday at the team prepares for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers

Meanwhile, linebacker Lavonte David has been medically cleared and is “good to go” for Sunday after completing the league’s concussion protocol.

“He seemed like he’s back to 100 percent,” coach Lovie Smith said Thursday.

David left last week’s game after his head collided with Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s knee. He was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice because of a possible concussion.

With David improving and seemingly ready to play against Carolina, Smith said the next focus will be on getting the Pro Bowl candidate more big plays. After posting seven sacks and five interceptions last season, David hasn’t recorded either this year.

“Lavonte will tell you that he wants more interceptions,” Smith said. “We’ve got to get him on that big-play chart more, which he’s capable of doing. There’s no limit to what he can do with his physical ability.”

–DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring), who has missed the past two games, did not participate in practice again Thursday.

–S Major Wright (ribs) was sidelined at practice and did not participate. If Wright is unable to play, the Bucs will go with S Bradley McDougald.

–RB Bobby Rainey (ankle) was back for first time since suffering the injury.

–LB Mason Foster, who was held out of practice Wednesday as he recovers from Achilles injury, was back at practice on a limited basis.

–TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back), who missed the last three games with a back injury, had limited participation Wednesday.

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