When former Bucs tight end Jerramy Stevens was arrested on Saturday night it made a real impact on the team immediately. Tampa Bay decided not to play Stevens on Sunday against St. Louis, and released him on Monday. Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said that he addressed the arrest with the team on Saturday night, and offensive coordinator Greg Olson said the arrest scrambled the Bucs game plan.
“It was big. The thing with Jerramy and it was such an unfortunate incident for us as a franchise and for him as an individual,” said Olson. “When things like that happen we’re going into the game knowing that Earnest Graham wasn’t going to be able to play. We had a fairly extensive two tight (end) package, so it really handcuffs you. It happens so late so you’re unable to bring another player up. I really have to give credit to Steve Logan, and really Alfredo Roberts, and Pete [Mangurian] for getting other guys ready to play. Getting a tackle to come in and play that third tight end.
“Our fullback situation, Lorig became a big part of our game plan because of our tight end situation. We had to be out there in base and here is another guy that was not playing the fullback position during training camp and two-a-days, we just got him over so it really changes your mindset before you go in. That is why it is important that your game-day roster and having players at every position so if someone does go down you’re able to get to another personal group base. It definitely hurts. It was unfortunate certainly. It affects everybody.”
Along with backup tight end John Gilmore, Tampa Bay played reserve offensive tackle James Lee a lot on Sunday as a tackle eligible player. Lorig logged a lot of snaps and had a good showing in the second half of the game blocking for running back LeGarrette Blount. Tampa Bay should be at full strength at the fullback and tight end position when they travel to Arizona on Sunday.
Graham’s hamstring injury is believed to be a one-game injury. Stevens roster spot was filled with tight end Ryan Purvis, who is a quality run blocker. That is a good thing as Lee may be forced to play right tackle with Jeremy Trueblood sustaining an injury late in the game against the Rams. Lee finished the game at right tackle, and Morris will update Trueblood’s status on Wednesday.
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