McClain still out with concussion, could test Bucs' corner depth
Bucs cornerback Robert McClain, who took all but three defensive snaps at outside corner in Sunday's loss at Buffalo, remains in concussion protocol and did not practice Wednesday, potentially challenging Tampa Bay's depth at cornerback this weekend.
If McClain is still sidelined when the Bucs play host to Carolina, they would have two likely scenarios to choose from, both involving much less experienced options.
If they want to keep Vernon Hargreaves inside as the nickel or slot corner, that would mean turning to Ryan Smith at outside corner -- he's played only two defensive snaps since struggling as a fill-in starter in the Bucs' loss at Minnesota. Or the Bucs could put Hargreaves back at outside corner, where he had struggled, and doing that would mean playing Javien Elliott at nickel -- he's played only three defensive snaps in the last four games, but started at the position at the end of last season.
The Bucs added a cornerback to the 53-man roster on Wednesday in former Cowboys and Falcons cornerback Deji Olatoye, but that's likely for depth to guard against additional injuries during Sunday's game.