The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will enter Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day contest in Dallas as the walking wounded.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers placed defensive end Simeon Rice, who has missed two straight games with a shoulder injury, on injured reserve.
Heading into the short week of preparation for their game against the Cowboys, the Bucs already had two starters – quarterback Chris Simms and cornerback Brian Kelly — on injured reserve. Rice becomes the third starter and fifth overall Bucs player to hit the IR list this year.
In addition, seven players – cornerback Juran Bolden (shin), tackle Anthony Davis (ankle), tight end/long snapper Dave Moore (illness), running back Michael Pittman (shoulder), linebacker Shelton Quarles (knee/ankle), tight end Alex Smith (ankle) and defensive lineman Ellis Wyms (ankle) – were listed as questionable for Thursday’s nationally televised contest as of Wednesday morning.
Rice, 32, finishes the season with 21 tackles, two sacks and a team-high four forced fumbles. The 6-foot-5, 268-pound Rice had never missed a game due to injury as a Buc until the team’s Nov. 13 contest at Carolina.
A 1996 first-round pick with Arizona, Rice signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2001. He’s recorded 121 career sacks, 69.5 of which have come during his tenure with the Buccaneers.
Bucs DE Dewayne White likely will start at right end in Rice’s place throughout the rest of the 2006 season.
In other injury news, Smith and Wyms did not make the trip with the team to Dallas due to their injuries. They have been downgraded to out for Thursday's game vs. Dallas.
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