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Buccaneers have 'big-time weapons' in passing game

McCarthy says Wednesday's practice should answer Tampa Bay's QB question with Jameis Winston


GREEN BAY -- The Packers aren't yet 100 percent sure Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston will be returning to action this week, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy knows plenty about Tampa Bay's weapons in the passing game.

"Big-time weapons, when you look at the size and ability of their perimeter group," McCarthy said prior to Green Bay's practice on Wednesday. "Big targets make for a more accurate quarterback. I think that's stating the obvious."

The Buccaneers feature the receiving tandem of Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, plus the tight end duo of Cameron Brate and rookie O.J. Howard. Jackson is the only one in that quartet under 6-foot-5, and he's the speedburner who complements the others' size. All four have caught either three or four TD passes this season, and Brate's 12.6 yards per catch is the lowest of the bunch.

All signs are pointing to Winston being their trigger man after a three-game absence due to a shoulder injury. Winston was trying to play through the injury earlier in the season, and then the coaching staff decided to give him time to rest and heal.

"Their practice today will probably answer that question," McCarthy said of Tampa Bay's QB situation. "Conceptually they'll be the same or similar."

Regarding Green Bay's injury situation, McCarthy said LB Clay Matthews (groin) and DT Kenny Clark (ankle) will "hopefully" begin a trial return to practice on Wednesday after missing last week's game. Rookie RB Aaron Jones (knee) is in the same boat, but RB Ty Montgomery (ribs) would be in the rehab group today. will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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