TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers returned to the practice field Monday following Friday night's 30-13 preseason win over the Cleveland Browns. Linebacker Daryl Smith was back fully practicing for the first time in two weeks since suffering an undisclosed injury that forced him to miss the last two preseason games.
When head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about Smith's injury two weeks ago, he said the 34-year-old strongside linebacker was taking a "veteran's day" and did not provide specifics on the injury. He pointed to Smith's 172 starts and said, "That's about as veteran as you can get."
Wide receiver Evan Spencer returned to practice after suffering a knee injury in the second preseason game in Jacksonville. During the open portion of practice, Spencer was running routes and catching passes with the quarterbacks, accelerating, stopping and cutting without any issues. Spencer is competing for one of the final receiver spots on the team, so it will be important for him to be back out there Thursday night when the Bucs face the Washington Redskins in the fourth and final preseason game.
Starting defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Luke Stocker also returned to practice after being held out of Friday's game with minor injuries. Starting right guard Ali Marpet still isn't back to practicing due to an ankle injury, but he was walking around Monday without a walking boot that he had on all last week.
Wide receiver Louis Murphy, who has missed all of training camp recovering from a torn ACL, was running sprints on a field adjacent to where the team was practicing. Murphy underwent surgery for the knee injury in November. If Murphy is not medically cleared to participate prior to Sept. 3 -- also the date that 53-man rosters are finalized -- then the team would place him on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile, who missed Friday's game to attend the wake of his mother, Marie Pamphile, who passed away at the age of 57, re-joined the team Monday.
Roster cuts loom
The Bucs have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to narrow their roster down to 75 players. The team made 12 cuts Sunday, including safety Major Wright, who started two games last year, punter Jacob Schum and linebacker Jeremiah George, who had a key block on Adam Humphries' punt return for a touchdown.
One player who appears to be safe is third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin. "I think it's safe to say that we'll probably keep three quarterbacks," Koetter said after practice. "We put a lot of time into Ryan Griffin and I think he's proven that he's capable of being a backup in this league. And it's not a big secret that Mike Glennon is going into the last year of his contract."