In­juries side­line pair of safeties

Tampa Bay Times - - Nfl - BY ED­UARDO A. ENCINA Times Staff Writer

TAMPA — The Bucs will be thin at safety against the Saints.

SS Justin Evans (toe) and FS Isa­iah John­son (con­cus­sion) didn’t prac­tice this week and are out for Sun­day’s game at Ray­mond James Sta­dium.

Evans re­turned last week af­ter miss­ing two games and played 25 snaps in a vic­tory against the Pan­thers. He has been wear­ing a boot on his right foot. John­son played just 28 snaps.

Last week, FS An­drew Adams played a sea­son-high 32 snaps and made three in­ter­cep­tions. SS Jor­dan White­head played 61.

Cor­ner­backs Carl­ton Davis (knee), Brent Grimes (an­kle) and M.J. Stewart (foot) all prac­ticed this week. Davis is listed as doubt­ful, and Grimes and Stewart are ques­tion­able. Last week, cor­ner­backs Javien El­liott and De’Vante Har­ris played 66 and 70 snaps, re­spec­tively.

Of those three cor­ner­backs po­ten­tially re­turn­ing, coach Dirk Koet­ter said that Stewart would be the most likely to be able to shift to safety, but he added they’ve tried num­ber of de­fen­sive backs at var­i­ous po­si­tions.

Stewart, who has mostly played slot corner, is re­turn­ing af­ter miss­ing the past five games.

“I think we’re go­ing to have nine DBs up, and those nine guys are go­ing to have to fill five or six spots de­pend­ing on whether you’re in base, nickel or dime (cov­er­age),” Koet­ter said.

WR DeSean Jack­son (thumb) con­tin­ued to be ab­sent from prac­tice Fri­day. He hasn’t prac­ticed all week, so he’s also likely out for Sun­day. DE Ja­son Pier­rePaul (knee) re­turned to prac­tice with a brace on his left knee af­ter miss­ing Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

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