Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright said Wednesday he doesn't see any reason he wouldn't be able to play in the team's final six games of the season.
Wright was the subject of an Oct. 28 report by FoxSports NFL Insider Jay Glazer stating Wright faced a four-game suspension for Adderall use, but Wright suggested that is no longer an issue.
"I don't know why I wouldn't,'' Wright said when asked if he expected to be around for the rest of the season. "(The suspension issue) has been addressed. It was addressed a long time ago.''
Wright had not spoken to reporters since the report came out. Bucs and NFL officials continue to deny requests for comment.
Adderall is banned by the NFL, though players can receive a waiver from the league if they have a doctor's prescription for the medication frequently used to treat attention deficit disorder.
Former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib was suspended four games this season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. Talib, who acknowledged he took an Adderall pill after obtaining it without a prescription, was traded to the New England Patriots on Nov. 1.
Wright, acquired as a free agent in the offseason, is battling a nagging ankle injury. He was described by head coach Greg Schiano on Monday as being "week-to-week" because of the injury. Wright did not practice on Wednesday but rode a stationary bike on the sideline.
Injured DB Anthony Gaitor returned to the practice field and could return to action by next week, when he is eligible to come off injured reserved. Gaitor was inactive for the first three games of the season before being placed on IR/Designated to Return on Oct. 9 with a hamstring injury.
"I just watched him out there (Wednesday) and he seemed fine,'' defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said. "He reminded me of the way he looked in training camp before he got nicked up, so I think he'll be fine.''
Gaitor is eligible to return to the active roster prior to the Dec. 9 game against Philadelphia.
Rookie ups and downs
Safety Mark Barron, the Buccaneers' top first-round draft choice in April, had perhaps his roughest outing of the season on Sunday in Carolina, highlighted by a pass interference call in the end zone that led to a Panthers' touchdown. While Barron's strength is his run support, he is still learning to be a better pass defender.
"One of the things we thought in our division, having to defend these great tight ends, Mark would be a great matchup," Schiano said. "I think he will be. I think he has been.''
That challenge will be tough again this week against a pass-happy Atlanta team that features future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez – whom Barron figures to match up against – as well as receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.
"(Barron) needs to really play well because the third head of the three-headed monster, (Gonzalez), is really good,'' Schiano said.
In addition to Wright, WR Arrellious Benn (shoulder), S Ahmad Black (illness) and S Cody Grimm (hamstring) missed practice on Wednesday. DE Michael Bennett (shoulder) was limited. DE Aaron Morgan (shoulder) and WR Tiquan Underwood (head) both participated fully. OL Jamon Merideth, who was limited last week with an ankle injury but played in Sunday's game, was not on the team's official injury list.
Roy Cummings, Erik Erlendsson