The Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be on their way to being their healthiest of the season entering Sunday’s NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New York Giants.
That is, with one notable exception — linebacker Cato June.
June did not participate in practice for the second straight day on Thursday, as he continued to recover from a foot sprain. Bucs head coach Jon Gruden expressed concern about June’s injury, which came on Sunday against Carolina.
If June were unable to play, that would rob the Buccaneers of their third-leading tackler this season and rush either veteran Ryan Nece or rookie Quincy Black into the starting lineup. Nece was the strong side starter in 2005 and 2006 before June arrived.
Rookie left guard Arron Sears did practice on Thursday in a limited fashion, improving his chances of playing after suffering an ankle injury on Sunday.
The Giants, meanwhile, have plenty of injury concerns. Five players — CB Kevin Dockery (hip flexor), CB Sam Madison (stomach), TE Mike Matthews (illness), LB Kawika Mitchell (knee) and C Shaun O’Hara (knee) all missed practice on Thursday.
WR Plaxico Burress (ankle) and DE Dave Tollefson (concussion) were limited, while RB Ahmad Bradshaw (calf) and WR Sinorice Moss (back) practiced fully for the second straight day.
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Listen to Bucsblitz.com’s Matthew Postins every Tuesday with former Buccaneers linebacker Scot Brantley on WHBO 1470 ESPN Radio in Tampa and Clearwater from 3-6 p.m. If you miss the show, check out Bucsblitz.com’s exclusive team media center for Postins’ archived appearances.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.