Tampa Bay TimesAfter the Bucs defense gave up a combined 1,087 total yards and eight touchdown passes to the Raiders and Falcons six weeks ago, it would not have been surprising if the confidence in defensive coordinator Mike Smith had been shaken.
Tampa Bay TimesIt's a sure sign of the newfound national interest in the Bucs that they have been flexed to later kickoffs three weeks in a row, including a prime-time showdown tonight against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Tampa Bay TimesBucs safety Chris Conte has endured plenty of injuries in his NFL career, but the chest injury he suffered late in the Bucs' home win against Seattle gave him a new scare, coughing up blood and requiring a night in the hospital.
Tampa Bay TimesBucs WR Adam Humphries, who missed Sunday's game while recovering from a concussion suffered a week earlier in the win at San Diego, was cleared from the league's concussion protocol Thursday morning and can play in the Bucs' game at Dallas on Sunday night.
Tampa Bay TimesTAMPA — This year's NFL rookie class has former Ohio State players making huge impacts all over the league, so Bucs DE Noah Spence has been reunited with many of his old Buckeyes teammates. Up next is Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, who is leading the league in rushing and has helped Dallas to an 11-2 record.
Tampa Bay TimesNFL playoff scenarios can be complicated -- a combination of a win by this team and a loss or tie by that team and so on -- but with three weeks left in the regular season, the Bucs' paths to the playoffs can be distilled to a few possibilities that can play out between now and Jan 1.
Tampa Bay TimesTAMPA — All signs point to Chris Conte returning healthy this week after missing two games with a chest injury, leaving the Bucs with a big decision: Does he or Keith Tandy start at safety against the Cowboys on Sunday night?
Tampa Bay TimesThe last few spots on a 53-man roster can be driven by injury-related depth concerns, and in a good sign that safety Chris Conte will be back this week, the Bucs released veteran safety Major Wright and re-signed defensive tackle John Hughes, who they had cut on Saturday.
Tampa Bay TimesTAMPA — If you want to see more clutching, grabbing and holding than you will find at an airport full of holiday visitors, check out what defenders are doing to Bucs receiver Mike Evans.
Tampa Bay TimesTAMPA — Linebacker Lavonte David remembers his only trip to AT&T Stadium to play the Dallas Cowboys when he was a rookie in 2012, and despite a 16-10 loss, the shrine to showbigness did not disappoint. But it has been at least eight seasons since the Bucs have been on such a mammoth stage with so much on the line.
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