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Bucs look to Brandon Myers, Luke Stocker after Seferian-Jenkins injury

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers emphasized a next-man-up mantra Wednesday as they prepared to play without starting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

"As you go through the season, different guys are going to be banged up, less than 100 percent at different times," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "You count on the depth of your team. ... Your next tight end has to be ready to play."

Seferian-Jenkins expected to miss four to six weeks with a strained shoulder, as ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

"If he can't go this week," head coach Lovie Smith said, "we'll have to make adjustments."

The tight ends next in line are Brandon Myers, Luke Stocker and Cameron Brate, who was signed off the New Orleans Saints' practice squad Wednesday. Their task won't be a simple one, given how Seferian-Jenkins leads the Bucs in receiving with 139 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns, including a 41-yard score from Jameis Winston in the fourth quarter of a Week 1 loss.

By comparison, Myers, Stocker and Brate have zero catches in this young season.

Seferian-Jenkins' early production was particularly important during wide receiver Mike Evans' slow start to the year -- no catches through two games -- while recovering from a hamstring injury.

"If we can get him, that's great," Winston said of Seferian-Jenkins. "But if we can't, we've got some great tight ends."

Myers, who is in his seventh season, is the most accomplished of the tight ends who could see a greater role. His best year was 2012, when he caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns with the Oakland Raiders. He had 190 yards on 22 catches with the Bucs last season.

Stocker, meanwhile, has 298 receiving yards on 35 catches in three NFL seasons, with a career-high 165 yards for the Bucs in 2012. Brate, who entered the league with Tampa Bay last year as a college free agent from Harvard, has one catch for 17 yards in his career.

"As a tight end group, we have a lot of moving parts this week and a lot of opportunities for a lot of guys" Stocker said. "So we're looking forward to the opportunity to make plays for our team."

"We just want to go out and win the game," he said of Sunday's matchup in Houston. "That's what we're focused on. That's what we're looking for -- that opportunity to just go out and win another game."

Seferian-Jenkins was a spectator during the open portion of practice Wednesday. He wore his white No. 87 jersey and a red-and-white visor flipped backward, and he could be seen mingling with other tight ends during stretches.

"We know we have pretty good depth," Smith said. "Luke Stocker has done a good job for us. He's a good football player. Of course, Brandon Myers same thing. For us, we've had Cameron Brate around here for a long time. We know what he can do."