Just a day into their first day of 2011 training camp, the Buccaneers sustained their first injury as rookie tight end Luke Stocker was seen on crutches on Saturday during the team's afternoon practice. Stocker injured his hip on Friday and will miss the next week, while being listed week-to-week by the team.
“He will be out a couple weeks, week-to-week,” Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said. “We look forward to getting him back. Lots of precautionary stuff when you talk about things of that nature. I’ll let [Bucs trainer] Todd [Toriscelli] fill me in a little bit more when I talk to him. I haven’t talked to the doctors yet about that but I did talk to him this morning about that. I get updates continuously and I’ll kind of give you things of that nature.”
Stocker described what happened to his injury, which occurred late during Friday's practice.
"It happened yesterday in the workout," said Stocker. "I got in an awkward position and had my leg and right hip twisted. I jammed my hip up a little bit. They just wanted me to get some weight off of it. It’s a week at a time to see if we can get it back feeling right. "
Tampa Bay's 6-foot-5, 257-pound tight end admitted its not the best way to start his rookie camp.
“Absolutely, it is the crappy hand I got dealt and I have to play it so that’s what I’ll do,” said Stocker. “The trainer told me we would take it a week at a time, so we’ll see.”
Tampa Bay traded away its 2012 fourth-round pick to move up in the fourth round to draft Stocker this past April. The Berea, Kentucky native was a three-year starter at Tennessee. During his senior season, Stocker caught 39 passes for 417 yards and two touchdowns. In his Volunteers career, he recorded 85 receptions for 956 yards and eight touchdowns, which surpassed the career total of Jason Witten (797 yards), one of Tennessee's all-time best tight ends.
Stocker is expected to play a big role on offense for the Buccaneers this season as the team's number two tight end behind Kellen Winslow. While Stocker was sidelined, Winslow shined on Saturday, making some dynamic and acrobatic catches during the afternoon session.
Yet, despite applause and drawing raves from the crowd on hand, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Winslow wasn't impressed with his performance.
"It was a bad day," Winslow said. "I felt a little gassed today. You know I may look good out here, but I know where I am supposed to be. We've got landmarks here. It was good, but not great. You know what I mean? But you strive to be perfect.
"I just tried to do too much. Sometimes I try to do too much and I do not need to. Like I am saying … we do not have pads on. It looks good out here, but I did not do good today."
Despite a very good practice, even though it wasn't up to his standards, Winslow, who was the Bucs' leading receiver with 66 catches for 730 yards and five touchdowns in 2010, said that the sweltering heat beat him down in the afternoon.
"You know, I was struggling today," Winslow said. "It feels like 110 out here – 120. I was struggling today, I need to … I probably lost 10 lbs today you know. So I am struggling right now.”
If Winslow was indeed struggling on Saturday, the Bucs would love it if he struggled like that every Sunday for 16 weeks.
– Charlie Campbell and Mark Cook contributed to this report