The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a few players questionable for their road game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Defensive end Gaines Adams, wide receiver Antonio Bryant, cornerback Torrie Cox (ankle), and running back Earnest Graham (hamstring) are questionable. According to head coach Raheem Morris, all of them have the potential to play.
"The only guys that are out are Jeff Faine and Kyle Moore," said Morris. "[Adams] is questionable. He hit his ankle this week. He's been limited, and he's been out there. We'll just have to see where he is on Sunday."
Adams came under a lot of criticism for a lack of production in the Bucs first three games of the season. Against the Washington Redskins Adams had a breakout game with five tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, one pass defensed, and one fumble recovery. A week ago Adams was questionable for the Redskins game with a groin injury, but two days before the game felt he would be ready to go.
"I feel the same way (as last week)," said Adams. "[Head trainer Todd Toriscelli] is the ring leader right now. He makes the calls. I feel pretty good today. I'm just looking forward to Sunday, and hopefully I'll feel a lot better."
Playing through that injury for the entire game last week is something Adams will draw upon this Sunday if he is cleared to play at Philadelphia.
"I had to," said Adams. "It was a decision I had to make, at this point of time in our season it was something that I had to do. It is just unfortunate that as a defense we played pretty well. Obviously we got a lot more room for improvement."
Morris is hopeful that the same result will play itself out this Sunday.
"I was thinking maybe he would go out there, start the game, hopefully I could get him in really on some pass-rushing downs," said Morris. "He ended up starting the game and playing really strong. There was a point where you're kind of looking at him saying, 'Hey, Todd [Toriscelli], is he okay?' You've got people watching him, and he fared well. I'll kind of be in that same mentality this week. If he has the ability to play, I'll have somebody watch him. I'm sure our trainers will be watching him, I'm sure our coaches will be watching him. You'll peek over at him every once in awhile and see how he looks, see his demeanor, see his body language. All those things help you in a football game, so I've kind of got to go with that same deal again, being limited. It's the same way with a couple guys on our team, all the guys that are limited, all the guys that are questionable and probable and all that type of stuff."
The Buccaneers will have to cut a player from their roster prior to game time on Sunday. That is because safety Tanard Jackson returns from his four-game suspension. Tampa Bay will have to open up a roster spot for Jackson.
"Tanard is playing," said Morris. "How much will be determined by the coaching staff here at some point. He looked good this week. He came back and was in shape. He was doing the right things obviously. He had no problem with the heat."
Morris would not say if Jackson would return to the starting lineup. Jackson has started every game for the Bucs at free safety since he came into the NFL in 2007.
"Me and Joe Baker still have to talk about that," said Morris. "If he doesn't start he will still be in there pretty quickly with the rotation. If he starts he will still be in the rotation obviously, to try and keep him acclimated to the game."
On the official injury report the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the following players listed as probable: linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), quarterback Byron Leftwich (hip), running back Derrick Ward (knee), and wide receiver Michael Clayton (ribs).
The Philadelphia Eagles have these players listed as probable: safety Quintin Demps (hamstring), guard Max Jean-Gilles (shoulder), quarterback Donovan McNabb (rib), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (hand), and running back Brian Westbrook (ankle). Wide receiver Kevin Curtis is questionable with a knee injury, and guard Todd Herremans (foot) has been ruled out.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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