Leonard Fournette still has a sore hip as Boss begins preparations for the Browns

Tampa – Questions about the car’s backspin following rookie Rachad White’s performance in Germany could linger a little longer.

White would – perhaps – get the bulk of Sunday’s buying against Brown by default.

Coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday that veteran Leonard Fournette is still “very sore” after he sprained his hip index in the 21-16 win against the Seahawks on Nov. 13. It is officially listed as a limited entrant.

Completely absent from the practice was nose tackle Vita Villa, who Bowles said was dealing with an unspecified foot injury.

“We’ll see how the week goes,” Bowles said. “If he (Fornite) progresses and improves to where he can run full speed, he’ll play. If he doesn’t, he won’t.”

Fournette-White combined alongside for 162 rushing yards against the Seahawks, though White (22 carries, 105 yards) stole the show with his viral hard-arm of Seahawks defensive back Quandre Diggs during a long run on the field. However, Tampa Bay remains last in the NFL in rushing offense (70.7 yards per game).

“I’ve seen what (White) can bring,” Bowles said. “He’s very athletic, and he gives us a lot. Lenny gives us a lot too. It depends on who gets hot at a certain time. We’ll ride that hand.”

For the run defense, Vea’s potential absence could hinder a unit exiting arguably their best effort of the year. The Bucs held Seattle – then 10th in the league – to 39 rushing yards, nearly 100 shy of his season average entering the game (133.8).

Key to jamming the running lanes was the complementing tandem of Vea (347 lbs.) and fellow veteran Achim Hicks (324), who combined for 32 and 33 hits, respectively.

“We’ll see how it goes during the week (for the FIA),” Bowles said.

Leverett is still the starter

Bowles confirmed that Nick Leverett will start for the fourth consecutive time at left guard on Sunday, although trapped rookie Luke Guedek — who started in his first seven contests — has returned to practice after a foot injury.

“Right now, we plan to start Leverett,” Bowles said. “Luke isn’t ready now; it’s his first day back in pads.”

Leverett was widely considered an upgrade in position since taking the starting job. During that three-game span, he allowed two quarterback pressures, one hurried and one strikeout in 227 snaps, according to pff.com. By contrast, Goedeke allowed 22 more presses than 457 snaps.

Stay on the lookout for hackers

Stay on the lookout for hackers

Sign up for the free Bucs RedZone newsletter

We’ll round up news and commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weekly during the season.

You are all signed up!

Want more of our free weekly newsletter in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all of your options

“Yeah, (Leverett) did a good job,” quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday. “Sure connection is really important, he’s doing a good job of that. … Everyone has a lot of confidence in Nick. He goes in and fights his tail off. That’s all you can ask for, and everyone loves having him there.”

David was nominated for the honor of sportsmanship

Veteran linebacker Lafonte David is a Bucs nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, given annually to the player who best displays sportsmanship on the field, respect for the game and opponents, and displays integrity in competition.

David, 33, has been an award finalist in the past four seasons. He is trying to become the first Tampa Bay player to win the award, which was established in 2014.

A panel of former players—including former Pokeball star Warrick Dunn—selects eight finalists (four from each conference). The finalists on the Pro Bowl ballot will be included under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote in December.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

• • •

Subscribe to the Bucs RedZone newsletter for updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs and winning writer Joey Knight.

Don’t miss the latest with college sports from the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida College, and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter Twitter and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: