The Tampa Bay Buccaneers concluded their first week of regular-season practice Friday by conducting a walk-thru at One Buccaneer Place. The team will leave Saturday for Washington and plays the Redskins at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
According to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay had a good week of practice.
“It was pretty good, I thought,” Gruden said of the first week of practice. “The guys worked hard. You’ve got to meet some new players on your practice squad, get them acclimated to how we’re practicing and what their role is. You’ve got some players who really haven’t played much in some of the preseason games, overcoming injuries. Obviously now they’re taking more and more reps. So it was good. It’s just like every season. You cut the roster down and your rotation’s isn’t three deep, they’re two deep and in some cases you’re getting a lot of reps on both sides, the service squad and you’re style that you play. It was a good week of practice and it was an informative one for a lot of people.”
What made the practice even better was the fact that the Bucs stayed healthy all week. However, some players apparently had some dehydration issues due to the hot and humid weather conditions in Tampa.
“When the heat the humidity index is what it is here, you’re going to have that,” said Gruden. “Working with [Head Trainer] Todd Toriscelli, as many years as he’s been here, we’ve had a number of players get IVs during the course of practice during the season. It’s a problem. You’ve got to try to do the best you can to stay on top of that, be creative in terms of how you practice, yet you still have to get your work done. It’s a tough obstacle, the heat down here, and it’s good practice in some ways for these guys to get ready to play in the fourth quarter of a game when they’re tired. You’ve got to get to know that guy up in the sky because he’s coming out tomorrow. He’s looking for you.”
Although Bucs guard/center Sean Mahan was sidelined for Thursday’s practice with some type of virus, he didn’t appear on the injury report Friday. Only Bucs tackle Kenyatta Walker is listed with knee injury. He’s probable for Sunday’s game.
“As far as I know, everybody’s ready to go,” said Gruden.
BUCS-REDSKINS INJURY REPORT
DB Andre Lott (knee)
HB/TE Brian Kozlowski (calf)
LB Mike Barrow (knee)
INJURY REPORT KEY:
Probable: Player has a 75 percent chance of playing.
Questionable: Player has a 50 percent chance of playing.
Doubtful: Player has a 25 percent chance of playing.
Out: Player will not play in game.
Washington isn’t the only thing Tampa Bay is concerning itself with this weekend. The Bucs and the rest of the Bay Area are keeping an eye on Hurricane Ivan, a category four hurricane that is currently projected to hit Florida sometime Monday. If the severe storm does indeed hit Tampa, the Buccaneers’ practice schedule next week for the Seattle Seahawks could be changed.
“I’m not involved in that aspect of planning yet, but we have people who are working on that,” said Gruden. “It’s a tough situation. These people have families and loved ones here. It’s not an easy contingency plan to come up with. This is a fierce storm.”
According to Gruden, the Bucs still plan to return to Tampa on Sunday evening.
“Nothing’s changed on the current itinerary,” said Gruden. “We’ll update our players and everyone as the situation unfolds. Tough, tough duty.”
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