Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik had to fill in for head coach Raheem Morris during Monday's press conference. Morris was at One Buc Place, but suffering from stomach flu and could not address the media. Dominik gave an update on the status of several injured Buccaneers.
In an unusual turn of events, Tampa Bay's head coach, Raheem Morris, led off the team's injury report on Monday afternoon. Morris was at One Buc Place, but unable to attend his press conference due to a bout with stomach flu. General manager Mark Dominik replaced Morris for the Monday press briefing and discussed the team's injury situation.
The status of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman remains unchanged from Saturday night when he broke the tip of his right thumb, which is on his throwing hand, by hitting the helmet of Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali in Tampa Bay's 20-15 preseason win.
“Right now, we are still with the same statement – that we’re confident and excited about him being able to be prepared for week one,” Dominik said. “He’s been in here the last couple of days getting training and rehab. Right now, it’s just a matter of his body rehabbing and re-healing to be ready to go week one.”
Dominik did not address a question that asked if the Bucs were disappointed in the play of running back Derrick Ward, but did say that he will return to practice this week after suffering a concussion against Kansas City on Saturday night after rushing for 11 yards on five carries (2.2 avg.).
“Well, last week he had a mild concussion and so that kind of knocked him out of the game a little bit,” said Dominik. “I look forward for him having a chance to rebound this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as do the coaching staff.”
Ward guaranteed a better showing against Kansas City after a dismal effort at Miami in which he rushed for 20 yards on 12 carries (1.7 avg.) and fumbled twice - one of which resulted in a turnover - but was unable to deliver against the Chiefs. Through two games, Ward has rushed for 31 yards on 17 carries (1.8 avg.) in the preseason and has been outplayed by third-string running back Kareem Huggins, who is Tampa Bay's leading rusher with 99 yards on 16 carries (6.2 avg.).
The team announced that wide receiver Maurice Stovall is still sidelined with an ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day. Right tackle Demar Dotson (ankle sprain) and kick returner Clifton Smith (knee) are expected to return to practice this week. Both players missed Saturday night's game against Kansas City.
There have been some media reports that have suggested that Smith has gout, but the Bucs have not diagnosed him with that particular affliction.
Undrafted rookie free agent Brandon Gilbeaux injured his knee on Saturday night, and sources tell Pewter Report that he may be waived/injured or placed on injured reserve as a result.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.