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Buccaneers switch jerseys for final practice, hilarity ensues

Robert Ayers, the Bucs' 275-pound defensive end, got a laugh from his new look on Friday as he swapped jerseys with 187-pound cornerback Alterraun Verner. Jenna Laine/ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held their final regular-season practice Friday and several players decided to have a little fun by swapping jerseys beforehand. Wide receivers wearing offensive linemen's numbers and defensive linemen squeezing into cornerbacks' jerseys created quite the spectacle, and, fortunately, no aid from equipment staffers was needed.

Six-foot-4, 300-pound Gerald McCoy swapped jerseys with Brent Grimes, who at 5-10 and 185 pounds looked pretty silly standing around the defensive line bags. Robert Ayers, who is 6-3, 275 pounds, swapped jerseys with 5-10, 187-pound Alterraun Verner and even did a TV interview wearing Verner's jersey.

"Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the jersey swap," said head coach Dirk Koetter, although he did manage to chuckle. "I told Robert Ayers on that one pass rush, he looked a lot faster wearing No. 21."

Wide receiver Russell Shepard caught a pass in the corner of the end zone wearing a Gosder Cherilus jersey. Shepard's jersey went to center Joe Hawley, who hoped to score more interviews as a wide receiver. "Does anyone have any questions for Russell Shepard today?" Hawley joked as he was leaving the field.

The best one may have been 6-6, 338-pound left tackle Donovan Smith wearing 5-6, 205-pound running back Jacquizz Rodgers' No. 32 jersey. Smith needed a red undershirt to cover half of his torso. Defensive tackle Akeem Spence squeezing into middle linebacker Kwon Alexander's No. 58 jersey and 324-pound defensive tackle Sealver Siliga squeezing into linebacker Daryl Smith's jersey were pretty comical, too.

Considering the week it's been, with defensive end William Gholston losing his father after a battle with cancer, running back Doug Martin making the difficult decision to enter a drug treatment program and the team's playoff hopes nearly out of reach, it did bring some much-needed levity.

"Maybe to them, but not for me," Koetter said, showing the slightest hint of a smile. "But that kind of stuff, that's all -- these guys, they're still young guys, they're having fun -- it's not a big deal, either way. I'm not a fan, but it's not like we're gonna do it every day. They did it today."