Tampa Bay Buccaneers tailback Carnell “Cadillac” Williams missed Thursday’s practice with what the team is calling “back spasms.”
Williams, who earned NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, is listed as probable on Tampa Bay’s injury report, which means he has a 75 percent chance of playing against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
“It’s not heat. It’s just that he’s got some back spasms,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Williams’ injury. “It’s not an uncommon occurrence. We hope with the day off he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Williams missed part of Sunday’s regular season opener with the same injury. The Bucs expect him to return to practice on Friday and play Sunday even if the back spasms persist.
“He’s one of the toughest guys who I’ve met, and obviously this is not something that’s just gone away here overnight like maybe we had hoped, so we had him out today,” said Gruden. “Hopefully he gets a good night’s sleep and a day’s rest helps him.”
In addition to Williams, the Bucs also added cornerback Brian Kelly to the injury report with a sore foot. Kelly was limited in practice Thursday and is listed as probable for Sunday’s contest in Atlanta.
“It’s a combination of wear-and-tear, I think, a long training camp, and hopefully a day or two will help him also,” Gruden said of Kelly’s injury.
Tampa Bay also downgraded tight end/long snapper Dave Moore from questionable to doubtful for the game in Atlanta. Moore suffered a rib injury last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. If Moore can’t play against the Falcons, TE Doug Jolley likely will handle the long snapping duties for the Bucs in Atlanta.
Bucs rookie right guard Davin Joseph is out for the second straight game with a knee injury. He is expected to return after the bye week.
While news regarding Tampa Bay’s injury report wasn’t great Thursday, the Bucs did receive some good news when starting left guard Dan Buenning (ankle) and middle linebacker Shelton Quarles (groin) practiced for the second straight day. Both players are listed as questionable for the game in Atlanta.
“They’re still going to be questionable,” Gruden said of Buenning and Quarles. “Both guys practiced, which is encouraging. We were in pads all day today and yesterday, so they were able to at least put the gear on and get work done. We’ll see how they are tomorrow and as we get on the plane Saturday.”