Todd Bowles rules out 4 Bucs, but Mike Edwards ‘on track to play’ against Panthers

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TAMPA — Receiver Julio Jones, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, defensive end Akiem Hicks and tight end Cameron Brate will all miss Sunday’s game against the Panthers, Bucs coach Todd Bowles said Friday.

Additionally, Bowles said safety Mike Edwards is “on track to play” after a good week of practice. Edwards (hyperextended right elbow), who reminded Bowles of Steve Austin and the “bionic man” while wearing both of his elbow pads, was a full participant on Wednesday and Thursday.

Edwards missed last weekend’s game against the Steelers after coming out in the second half of a Week 6 win over the Falcons.

Sunday will mark the second straight game Murphy-Bunting (quad) has missed, while Hicks (foot) and Jones (knee) haven’t recorded snaps for Tampa Bay since Weeks 2 and 4, respectively.

The Bucs still don’t know how long Brate will miss, but Bowles said seeing him around the facility was an encouraging sign. Brate suffered a concussion earlier in the season before spraining his neck in Pittsburgh, which caused him to leave the field on a stretcher. His absence will allow Kyle Rudolph and rookie Cade Otton — who had a career-high six catches against Atlanta — to have additional opportunities in tight end position.

This story will be updated.

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