Want to read Jon Gruden’s entire Thursday press conference? Click here for this BucsBlitz.com premium feature.
Brian Kelly practice on Thursday without limitations, strengthening the likelihood that the veteran cornerback would be ready for Sunday’s game with St. Louis.
Kelly practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday. He missed last week’s game with a groin injury.
Kelly’s return would give the Buccaneers a healthy group of four veteran corners — Kelly, Ronde Barber, Phillip Buchanon and Sammy Davis.
“He wouldn’t be full-go [in practice] if he wasn’t close to being ready to play,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. “Once again, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll make our final decision on game day.”
Defensive end Patrick Chukwurah, still coming back from a partially torn medial collateral ligament, was limited. Plus, wide receiver Ike Hilliard was held out of practice due to an ankle injury.
The Hilliard injury is new and it could further sap the depth at wide receiver, if Hilliard is unable to go on Sunday. That would allow either Michael Clayton or Maurice Stovall — who have one catch between them in two games — to start in Hilliard’s place.
“Hopefully, we’ll see if he’s ready to go tomorrow,” Gruden said.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.