Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback B.J. Askew's injured hamstring is actually a torn hamstring that will keep him out another 3-4 weeks by his estimation. Askew remained in the game at Chicago after tearing the hamstring and actually made a tackle on special teams with the injury. The Pro Bowl alternate at fullback last season missed the contest against Green Bay.
"I tore it," said Askew. "I don't know how long it is going to be. It feels a lot better than when I first did it. I feel like I'm healing pretty quick. Next week I'll be doing some more training. I'll be out practicing, see how it feels, and gage better when I'll be back."
Askew said he knew exactly when the injury occurred in the game against Chicago.
"I did it on the opening kickoff return of overtime. I played the whole overtime with it," said Askew. "I told them to wrap it up. They were like, ‘Oh man,' and I said, 'Wrap it up.". They speed wrapped it and I went back out there."
When asked about the pain of playing through a torn hamstring, Askew acknowledged the difficulty.
"Oh yeah, that was tough," said Askew.
With the injury coming on special teams, and Askew being a big contributor on offense, he was unsure whether the team would pull him off special teams duties when he returns from the injury.
"I really don't know," said Askew. "I'm still open to playing special teams. It is just one of those things that happens. Nobody hit me. I was just running, getting ready to get a block and then pop. It just came out of nowhere. I was loose obviously because it was in overtime. It wasn't hurting or bothering me at all prior to that. It was just like getting struck by lightning."
Thus far in 2008, Askew has eight receptions for 39 yards in three games, an average of 4.9 yards per reception. His long reception of 18 yards came earlier in the game at Chicago. Taking Askew's place at fullback was backup Byron Storer. In 2007, Storer saw some game action for the Buccaneers when Askew missed time with an ankle injury. Storer also got a lot of reps in training camp and the preseason when Askew had to have minor surgery on his ankle. Askew has been helping his understudy, and feels the Buccaneers are in good hands. Askew has also been helping to coach Storer, who is in his second season with four starts up to now.
"I trying to help him get through piles and stuff, when sometimes you got your body off kilter," said Askew. "I just gave him some pointers on how to lower his center of gravity, and try to regain his balance before he delivers a blow.
"He's good to go. He is a good NFL fullback. I love him, and he works hard. It is good to have the confidence knowing that I have a guy behind me that we won't lose a step with. It is another interchangeable part."
Askew does not anticipate Storer having to shoulder the fullback duties alone for all that long. If Askew stays on pace he would return for the Bucs contest against Dallas on Oct. 26. That would mean that he would miss the games at Denver, and home contests against Carolina and Seattle.
"I'm making some really good progress," said Askew. "I've already started jogging again, and I'm doing a lot of workouts in the pool, strengthing exercises and all that. It seems like it is really coming around. I'm pretty confident about it."