Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
Smith just met with reporters in Tampa for the first time since he suffered a concussion on a brutal and illegal hit by Carolina’s Wesley on a punt during Sunday’s game between the Panthers and Buccaneers. The NFL is punishing Wesley with a one-game suspension.
During his talk with the media, Smith revealed that Wesley called him to apologize. Smith said he accepted the apology.
Smith also said he expects to play in Sunday’s game against the Patriots in London. That may turn out to be true, but it may be wishful thinking on the part of a competitive player. You can be sure the Tampa Bay medical staff is going to be very cautious before letting Smith back on the field. The Bucs have a bye after the New England game and, if there are any doubts about Smith’s health, the Bucs will hold him out and let him get some more rest. With rookie Sammie Stroughter, the Bucs have a strong alternative in the return game.