Buccaneers rule out top tackler Lavonte David, CB Jamel Dean

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without a pair of key defensive starters Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts as they attempt to regain first place in the NFC South.

Coach Todd Bowles said Friday that inside linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Jamel Dean will both be out after David suffered a groin injury and Dean an ankle injury last week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Bowles said it's unclear how long David and Dean will be out, and both are "day-to-day, week-to-week."

"Lavonte and Jamel will be out. Everybody else will be game-time decisions," Bowles said, adding that inside linebacker Devin White "did some things" and "will be a game-time decision."

"He ran around today," Bowles said of White, who suffered a foot injury against the Niners. "It's about how he feels on Sunday."

The Bucs' other starting cornerback, Carlton Davis III, is dealing with a hip injury and will also be a game-time decision.

"He did some things today too," Bowles said. "So we'll work them all out Sunday, see how they feel. They've got two more days."

With leading tackler David out and White in question, the Bucs will lean on rookie SirVocea Dennis and third-year backup K.J. Britt. Neither has started an NFL game, although Britt has spent extensive time on special teams. The loss of David hurts the Bucs most in defending the screen game and against the run, whereas White is more active as a blitzer.

As far as their cornerback situation, second-year backup Zyon McCollum, who now has seven starts under his belt -- four this season -- will get the nod in Dean's place. A number of players could step in opposite him should Davis be out, including rookie and top special teams gunner Josh Hayes, who saw his first true snaps on defense last week, and Dee Delaney, who has also seen a number of reps at safety this year. Derrek Pitts is also an option, and the team just promoted Keenan Isaac from the practice squad Thursday.

The Bucs (4-6) are currently tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place in the NFC South, with the Falcons holding the tiebreaker, one game behind the New Orleans Saints (5-5).