For the second time in as many weeks, Tampa Bay running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams has been named the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week.

Williams carried the ball 24 times for 128 yards and a touchdown en route to Tampa Bay’s 19-3 win over Buffalo last Sunday. He currently leads the NFL in rushing with 276 yards on 51 carries (5.4 avg.) and two touchdowns.

The fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Williams beat out WR Braylon Edwards, P Chris Kluwe, QB Kyle Orton and LB Lofa Tatupu for the award.

At the end of the 2005 regular season, five players will be nominated for the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honor. Fans can vote on throughout the month of January. The winner of the 2005 Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

On the same day that he received his second consecutive Rookie of the Week award, Williams, who has been nursing a sprained foot, returned to practice at One Buccaneer Place.

“Yeah, he did a little more today,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Williams. “He’s making improvement. We expect him to be ready to go Sunday.”

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks was excused from most of Tampa Bay’s Thursday afternoon practice due to the birth of his daughter.

“No. Derrick Brooks missed most of the practice today,” said Gruden. “His wife had a baby, I’m told a baby girl. We’re happy to announce that and we wish the missus the very best.”

Although Brooks and Williams will play against the Packers on Sunday, the status of cornerback Torrie Cox, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI last week, is still undetermined. If Cox is left inactive for the second consecutive game, wide receiver Mark Jones will return kickoffs in his place.

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