As he approaches his first game in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform, Logan Mankins appreciates the support shown by his new teammates. Mankins was acquired last week in a trade with New England and the six-time Pro Bowl guard is expected to start Sunday's season opener against Carolina.
“I've been here a few days and this locker room is already starting to feel like home,'' Mankins said Wednesday. “The guys have been great. They've accepted me and tried to help as much as possible. Hopefully, I can do my part to earn their trust.''
Tampa Bay guards struggled in the preseason and Mankins is considered an outstanding run blocker who leads by example.
“He's picked things up well,'' said RT Demar Dotson, the only holdover from last year's starting offensive line. “Mankins is a smart guy and, coming from the Patriots, he's got to be smart. He's a pro and he's going to do what's needed to be ready on Sunday.''
STAT OF THE DAY
Since Vincent Jackson joined the Bucs as a free agent from San Diego in 2012, only Detroit's Calvin Johnson has more receiving yards on third down.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pro Bowl C Ryan Kalil is the only starting offensive lineman returning in the same positon for Carolina.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I don't think he realizes how talented he is. All week long, he'll joke around, but on Sunday, he turns into another person.'' -- Bucs DT Gerald McCoy on All-Pro OLB Lavonte David.
For the Bucs, DE Da'Quan Bowers (abdomen), DE William Gholston (shoulder), S Bradley McDougald (knee), CB Rashaan Melvin (ankle) and WR Louis Murphy (back) did not participate in Wednesday's practice; RB Mike James (shoulder) and FB Jorvorskie Lane (hand) were limited, while CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring) participated fully.
For the Panthers, only one player appeared on Wednesday's injury report, but it was a notable one: QB Cam Newton (ribs) did not participate.
Sunday: vs. Carolina, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
Sept. 14: vs. St. Louis, 4:05 p.m. (Fox)
Sept. 18: at Atlanta, 8:25 p.m. (NFLN)
Sept. 28: at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (Fox)