Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris rested some of his players during the Bucs bye week practices. Morris held out a few players that have been dealing with injuries throughout the season.
"[Michael] Clayton, Ronde Barber, [John] Gilmore, [Geno] Hayes, and Aqib [Talib] have been out the last few days," Morris said. "They've been resting their little nicks they've been getting all throughout the season. We'll get them back next week and be ready to go."
Morris said he believed those players would quickly return to the practice field after a few days off.
"I do, without being a doctor or giving you an injury report, I anticipate all those guys practicing," said Morris. "Aqib has been dealing with it the whole time the last four or five weeks, and he's been fighting through it playing and practicing. We thought this would be a smart time to get him some rest. Same deal with Ronde. Same deal with [Gilmore]. The couple guys that we did rest the last two days just were a smart decision."
Despite the Bucs resting a few players, they still had a physical practice on Thursday before breaking for the weekend.
"A little padded work, some physical play today," said Morris. "Some of it was too physical. It was good. It was a spirited practice right before they go get a little bit of a break. We got time to heal up, and time for these guys to heal the little nicks and injuries that come during the season, so they are doing that right now."
Morris said the Bucs would be off Thursday afternoon through Monday. The players will hold a practice on Tuesday, normally the player's day off, and have practice on Wednesday-Friday to get ready for the Green Bay Packers. On Wednesday, Morris announced that rookie quarterback Josh Freeman would start for Tampa Bay when they play the Packers on Nov. 8. While a lot of the players will be leaving town for a few days, Morris said that Freeman would be putting in more time at One Buc Place preparing for his first pro start.
"I'm sure Freeman will be here at least today and tomorrow," said Morris. "He might take off Saturday, and watch the game on Sunday. I'm sure he'll be back here bright and early on Monday morning at 6:00 AM like he has been since he became the second quarterback on this football team."
BUCS RESPOND TO SALE RUMORS
On 970 AM WFLA and 620 AM WDAE rumors of the Bucs owners, the Glazer family, selling the team broke out on Thursday morning by host Dan Sileo. Sileo said the Glazer's lost hundreds of millions of dollars in a ponzi scheme, and as a result they may be trying to sell the Bucs or be forced to sell the team due to their financial issues. At One Buc Place the staff viewed the rumors as fact less, and uncredible. Employees said that the Bucs are not for sale. The team did issue a brief response to the rumors.
"We are not going to respond to every unsubstantiated rumor," said public relations director Jeff Kamis after practice.
Later in the afternoon, the team issued a more forceful response. Joel Glazer, co-chairman of the Buccaneers, released the following statement, "Â“The report today by WDAEÂ’s Dan Sileo about our family and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is 100 percent false.
"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not, nor have they ever been for sale. In addition, our family or any of our related companies have never invested one penny with Bernie Madoff.
"The report is baseless, irresponsible and slanderous. This type of behavior by Mr. Sileo and his company Clear Channel will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.Â”"