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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs LB Geno Hayes cleared to play after head injury

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Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM
TAMPA -

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker corps should be back at full strength come Monday night.

Weakside linebacker Geno Hayes, who left last week's game against Atlanta with a concussion, has been cleared to play, coach Raheem Morris said. Also, strongside linebacker Quincy Black has returned to practice after missing last week's game with an ankle injury.

Black pulled double duty the first two weeks of the season, including serving as the middle linebacker in the nickel defense on passing downs. His role likely will be reduced when he returns to the lineup against the Colts.

The team was so impressed with rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster on passing downs last week against Atlanta that plans call for him to stay on the field in the nickel defense.

"Mason has certainly put up the argument in the last two weeks about being (able) to (play) in nickel (situations),'' Morris said. "We can always use Quincy in those situations as a rusher, just like we do with Dekoda (Watson).''

Black and Hayes will split reps on nickel or passing downs, along with Watson, Morris said.

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