Versatile Danny Lansanah helps Bucs adjust to Kwon Alexander's absence

TAMPA, Fla. -- With Kwon Alexander suspended for the next four weeks and Bruce Carter returning from a concussion, linebacker Danny Lansanah says he is ready for whatever role the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need him to fill.

Normally the team's starting strongside linebacker, Lansanah worked at middle linebacker during the portion of Wednesday's practice that was open to the media.

"I've done it before," Lansanah said of lining up in the middle. "My mentality is to do whatever they ask me to do and do it to the best of my ability. I played it last year and made plays."

In the Buccaneers' defense, the middle linebacker rarely leaves the field. He calls the defensive signals and also plays in nickel situations.

Carter, who missed the Bucs' victory over Atlanta, practiced fully Wednesday, which is a good sign for him playing against New Orleans. He signed with Tampa Bay to be the middle linebacker, but Alexander earned the starting job in training camp.

Tampa Bay also re-signed linebacker Orie Lemon on Wednesday to add depth to the position and take Alexander's roster spot. Alexander was suspended for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

"We're going to go through the week," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. "We've talked about Bruce Carter, Danny Lansanah, guys that have both played that position. We always like options when situations like this come up. We feel pretty good.

"There's a reason why Kwon Alexander was our starter," he said. "But we feel pretty good at the group of linebackers we're going to put on the field this week."

Lansanah started two games at middle linebacker toward the end of the 2014 season, making eight tackles in each game.

"I think he was the only player we had to score two defensive touchdowns [in 2014]," Smith said. "He was always around the ball. He's a smart football player. We can play him in a lot of different positions. ... Not many guys can do that. We're going to miss Kwon quite a bit, but we're OK going forward in these next four weeks."