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December 18, 2009 @ 8:00 am
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Clayton, Gilmore Ruled Out, Winslow Questionable For Sunday's Game

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Jim Flynn


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Tampa Bay WR Michael Clayton (knee) and TE John Gilmore (head) have been ruled out of Sunday's game in Seattle. Neither will travel with the team to Seattle. Four other players, including Bucs TE Kellen Winslow (knee) and WR Sammie Stroughter (back), were listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
The 1-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without at least two players when they take on the 5-8 Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday.

Following Friday's practice at One Buccaneer Place, Bucs head coach Raheem Morris ruled wide receiver Michael Clayton (knee) and tight end John Gilmore (head) out of Sunday's contest, which is scheduled to kick off at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Clayton will miss his third straight game due to the knee injury he sustained on the opening drive in Atlanta on Nov. 29. He will be replaced by WR Maurice Stovall, who has hauled in a career-high 20 passes for 289 yards and one touchdown in four starts this year.

When asked if the Bucs would consider placing Clayton on injured reserve due to his knee injury, Morris suggested the former first-round pick was on the mend.

"I think he's going to make it back next week," Morris said of Clayton.

The Bucs likely will use backup offensive tackle Demar Dotson in some running situations to help fill the void left by Gilmore, who is considered the team's best blocking tight end.

There is a good chance neither Clayton nor Gilmore will travel with Tampa Bay to Seattle on Friday afternoon.

"More than likely we'll leave Clayton behind," said Morris. "We just need to try to get that thing healthy and get it where it needs to be. Gilmore will probably stay behind as well."

There is also a chance Bucs TE Kellen Winslow will not play in Seattle. Although he had full participation earlier in the week, Winslow, who leads the Bucs in receptions, was held out of practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

In addition to Winslow, Bucs rookie wide receiver Sammie Stroughter (back), linebacker Geno Hayes (hamstring) and cornerback Derrick Roberson (groin) are also listed as questionable.

Morris seemed to be optimistic regarding Stroughter's chances of playing in Seattle. Should he be able to go, Stroughter would handle kickoff and punt return duties as well as slot receiver responsibilities on offense.

"He looked much better than last week," Morris said of Stroughter. "It was a soreness issue where you have to be able to run on game day. Last week we went out to the game and he wasn't able to do that. He actually made it through all the practices this week and hopefully he can get out there and get it done for us."

Hayes missed last week's game vs. the New York Jets due to his hamstring ailment. While he told the media earlier in the week that he'd play vs. Seattle, Hayes' status still is in the air, according to Morris.

"Geno told us [he was playing] last week, so we'll have to see," said Morris. "I pulled Geno's workout card because I felt I made it worse on game day. We're going to work him out as well."

Bucs right guard Davin Joseph (shoulder) and rookie defensive tackle Roy Miller (ankle) are listed as probable for the upcoming game.

As for Tampa Bay's practice on Friday, Morris said it was improved from the one the team had a week ago, which drew heavy criticism from the first-year head coach.

"We did. That was a much better practice," said Morris. "It's still not at a championship level, but it's a much better practice than the one we had last week."

The Seattle Seahawks ruled out wide receiver Nate Burleson (ankle). Rookie linebacker Aaron Curry (hip) is probable and linebacker DD Lewis (knee) is questionable.

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