The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a couple of key additions to their defensive unit this week when they play the Oakland Raiders. Defensive end Robert Ayers and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy are both active for the contest and will play.
Ayers, who has been sidelined since Week Two with an ankle injury, was limited in practice this week and was listed as questionable for the game. Thankfully for the Bucs though, he was able to practice in full on Friday, which made his return on Sunday possible.
The Bucs signed Ayers as a free agent this offseason with hopes that he would give them one of the best defensive fronts in all of football. Unfortunately the injury has kept that thought from happening up to this point, so everyone in Tampa Bay will be excited to see their prized free agent acquisition play.
In addition to Ayers, McCoy will also play against the Raiders.
The Pro Bowl tackle returned last week after missing time with an injury. Although he played in Tampa Bay’s 34-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday, the former first-round pick was limited this week in practice, which created some concern about his status for this week’s game against the Raiders.
Thankfully for the Bucs though, he was able to progress enough throughout the week and their captain will now play.
For the Raiders, the news on the injury front isn’t as positive. Right tackle Menelik Watson is inactive for the game. It will be his third missed game in a row as he battles a groin injury.
Austin Howard will start in his absence.