Buccaneers center Jeff Faine is going to be out for a few weeks according to head coach Raheem Morris. Faine injured his quadriceps midway through the second quarter against Cincinnati and was replaced by backup Jeremy Zuttah for the rest of the game.
“Jeff Faine we can expect to miss a few weeks here,” said Morris. “We have to get more information, it is the day after. You can expect him to be out a significant amount of time. I can give you more details as I get them.”
Faine missed four games in the 2009 season after tearing his triceps in the team's Week 1 loss to Dallas. The 6-foot-3, 291-pound center will be evaluated further and Morris said he would have an update later in the week about how many games that Faine was going to be out.
Zuttah started 21 games at guard over this first two NFL seasons in 2008-2009. The 2008 third-round pick out of Rutgers lost his starting spot at left guard to veteran Keydrick Vincent, who was signed late in the offseason. Morris and the Buccaneers went out of their way to praise the play of Zuttah (6-4, 308) against Cincinnati.
“Zuttah came out and helped us out. It was a redemption game for a lot of people,” said Morris. “It was a chance to get Sabby [Piscitelli] back. It was a chance to get Zuttah back. Zuttah was another guy that lost his position in the beginning of the season. He was able to go out there and fight through things, which we talked about last night. He jumped right out there at center and ran our offense, and won a football game for us, so we are really excited about his production and how he was able to go out there. We have a young man on the team named [Ted] Larsen, he’ll have an opportunity to get a helmet on. He’ll have an opportunity to compete. It’ll be a lot of fun to go out there and practice this week with these young guys.”
Larsen, a rookie, was signed just before the season after being cut by New England. The North Carolina State product was a fifth-round pick by the Patriots in the 2010 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Larsen is versatile enough to play both guard and center for the Bucs and excels in pass protection. Larsen grew up in the Tampa Bay area and played high school football at Palm Harbor.
Morris said that safety Sean Jones (back), defensive tackle Brian Price (leg injury), and a few other players should be fine heading into the Bucs game against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. Jones played the first snap against Cincinnati, but immediately left the field with a back injury.
“Before the game I stretched and I wasn’t really warmed up yet and I strained a muscle in my lower back, but it was nothing serious,” Jones said. “I’ll be back next week.
“I got an MRI and everything came back good. I’ll be back next week. It was just a minor muscle strain in my lower back. It was tough going out there yesterday. I was feeling stiff.”
Taking Jones place at strong safety was fourth-year pro Sabby Piscitelli. He had seven tackles and a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter to set up the Bucs' game-winning field goal. Fellow starting safety Cody Grimm also excelled against Cincinnati, returning his first career interception 11 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
“I can’t be more happy for Cody and Sabby,” Jones said. “They went out there and did a great job. They stepped up and made big plays for us. Ultimately, they won the game for us with those big plays.”