Bucs Healthy Heading Into Third Preseason Game
Although they don’t have an official injury report, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be fairly healthy heading into their third preseason game of the year, which will be played against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night.
With the exception of Bucs tackle Torrin Tucker, who has been battling a knee injury since the beginning of training camp, the team expects to have all of its players available to play in Jacksonville.
“I don’t really have any injury updates,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “We have a couple of guys that are still sore. Just about everybody practiced today.
“Sometimes these things go down to the wire. I really can’t say right now. We don’t really have to put out a list, not that I’m trying to be evasive, but it is training camp. Everybody is sore. If I had to go through everybody that had a nick or nag I’d have to go through a litany of bodies. We’re planning on everybody play in. Obviously Torrin Tucker will be doubtful for the game. Other than that I expect everybody to play.”
Offense To Take The Field Intact In Jacksonville
Not only has Tampa Bay’s offense been somewhat conservative in nature, several key members, including wide receiver Joey Galloway and running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, have been held out of the Bucs’ first two preseason contests as a precaution.
However, that strategy could change on Saturday night when Tampa Bay invades Jacksonville to clash with the Jaguars.
“It will definitely be good to have them out there,” said Bucs quarterback Chris Simms. “I’m definitely excited to have Joey out there and Cadillac because when everyone sees Cadillac out there they’re probably thinking run. They’re both very big keys to our offense. They’re definitely keys to our success, so I’m glad to have them out there.”
Players’ Playing Time To Vary
Don’t expect all of Tampa Bay’s starters to play through the first three quarters of Saturday night’s preseason game in Jacksonville. That’s a strategy most NFL teams have adopted, but not the Bucs.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden suggested Wednesday that Tampa Bay’s starters would see extended playing time, but some starters and players will play longer than others.
“These guys are in great shape, so I’m not worried about that,” said Gruden. “This is football season, and it feels like it’s been football season since April. We’re ready to play another preseason game. A lot of guys are going to play, and we will see some of our starters play maybe a little more than they have. We will substitute quickly at some positions to get a look at guys.”
Tampa Bay’s Offense To Be Tested In Jacksonville
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden’s offense will be tested on Saturday night when this unit goes up against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, which is one of the NFL’s best.
Last year, Jacksonville held opposing offenses to an average of 273 yards per game while recording 47 sacks and 19 interceptions.
Bucs quarterback Chris Simms, who has completed 4-of-10 passes for 35 yards in two preseason games, has yet to lead the Bucs offense into the end zone this preseason, but he hopes to change that on Saturday night.
“We’re all competitors, and me personally, I know I want to go out there and do a good job and be successful,” said Simms. “It’s an important game for our offense because we have everybody in this week. I’m sure we’ll get a little more extended playing time. We just want to be a little more consistent.”
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