The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their 53-man roster set for now, but the team can only dress 46 players on game days, per league rules.

The Bucs are determined to build on the success they had running the football in 2007, but not all of their running backs will get the opportunity to get the ground game going into New Orleans on Sunday.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden suggested on Wednesday that the team might make one of its three tailbacks inactive for the regular season opener vs. the Saints.

Should that scenario come to fruition, the player that is most likely to be inactive for the Week 1 game is RB Michael Bennett since Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn are ahead of him on the depth chart and fullbacks B.J. Askew and Byron Storer are likely to play.

Bennett, who re-signed with the Bucs during the offseason after being traded to Tampa Bay last October, turned in an impressive preseason, rushing 45 times for 203 yards (4.5 avg.) and one touchdown while catching 10 passes for 52 yards.

"We're only allowed to dress so many guys on Sunday," said Gruden. "We're going to sit some players down that I'm sure will be disappointed or maybe even shocked themselves. The last time I checked we can only dress 46 men, so we're going to have to make some tough calls. We may not have three tailbacks up."

In related news, the Bucs have not yet announced which player will start at the flanker spot opposite of wide receiver Joey Galloway. However, Gruden did indicate that Antonio Bryant could be that player over the likes of Ike Hilliard, Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall.

"We're going to look at how the week goes," said Gruden. "We've had a number of guys that have been inactive. I expect a lot of guys to participate. Who the starter is depends on the personnel we're in and the play we decide to choose.

"[Bryant] is a possibility. He missed the last couple of weeks with an injury. I'm not going to sit here and try to be evasive and try to tell you that we're keeping information from anybody. I just have to see how things go here in the next couple of days. If Antonio is healthy he should play for us."


 

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