TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The first injury report for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for their game against the San Francisco 49ers, will be released on Wednesday. But a glimpse at the team’s Monday practice did not reveal the true health of several key, injured players. Defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald, defensive end, Rober Ayers and running back, Doug Martin, were not on the field during the morning workout. But that does not mean that their status for Sunday’s game is in danger nor guaranteed.
During News Channel 8’s exclusive interview with Bucs head coach, Dirk Koetter, the coach emphasized the perfect timing of the team’s bye week and the importance of healthy players with 11 games to play in the regular season.
Koetter said the bye week was used, by the coaching staff, to evaluate the team. In some cases, areas that were criticized during the first five games, were actually positives, in the eyes of the coaches. The bye week also offered an opportunity to scout the 49ers, as they played the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. In that game, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his first start. And although the outcome wound up lopsided in favor of the Bills, Kaepernick’s strength emerged. Koetter noted Kaepernick’s running ability, averaging more than eight yards per carry on eight rushing attempts. It is the “zone read” style of offense that the Bucs will spend this week preparing to defend.
Two weeks ago, the Bucs defense found itself in a similar position, preparing to play against Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton. By the eve of last Monday’s game, Newton was ruled out of the contest due to a concussion. Koetter feels the defense got a jump on defending Kaepernick but only discipline and “assignment football” will put his team in a position to keep the 49ers offense from being effective.
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