The injury bug bit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and gave the team a scrare when quarterback Jeff Garcia and defensive tackle Jovan Haye had to leave Thursday morning's practice with a calf and groin injury, respectively.
The Bucs were relieved to learn on Thursday that neither injury is serious. Both Garcia and Haye are listed as day-to-day.
"It's pretty much the same as yesterday," said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. "It's not anything serious. Jeff will be day-to-day. The same goes for Jovan Haye. He's got a groin strain, but fortunately neither injury is serious. They'll be out for a few days. We'll keep you updated."
Garcia, 38, was excused from the first two days of practice to attend the 35th-anniversary celebration of his father's junior college football team's championship in California.
Gruden suggested QB Luke McCown would receive the majority of reps in place of Garcia, who helped the Bucs win the NFC South division title and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in the process while missing three games due to injury in 2007.
"We haven't made any decisions on that," Gruden said when asked if Garcia would miss Tampa Bay's first preseason game of the year vs. Miami on Aug. 9. "Luke McCown is a guy we want to take a lot of reps. It's a great opportunity for him to do that. It's the same for Brian Griese.
"Last year, Jeff had a groin strain and missed seven or eight days. We'll have to see how he responds to the treatment. It might be four days, it might be a week."
Haye, whose career-high 97 tackles ranked first among Tampa Bay's defensive linemen last year, likely will miss the rest of the week due to the groin injury he sustained.
"We're going to evaluate him. He'll be out for sure this week," Gruden said of Haye. "Hopefully we'll be looking at getting him back shortly after that."
In the meantime, the Bucs plan to play 6-foot-4, 315-pound Ryan Sims, who spent the majority of last year working as a backup nose tackle, at the under tackle position in place of Haye (6-2, 285). The team will also work second-year defensive lineman Greg Peterson and rookie DT Dre' Moore into the rotation.
"If you've been out here watching, Ryan Sims is the real deal," said Gruden. "He's a top 10 pick and we've talked about how much we like him for a while. He's made a lot of big plays out here. He's going to get a lot of looks at the under tackle position and Greg Peterson will kick inside. Our fourth-round draft pick, Dre' Moore, will get some turns in there, too. We'll take a look at several guys. It will be a bigger body and different style, but it will be fun to evaluate. We miss Jovan and we hope we get him back soon because he's a leader on this football team."
Tampa Bay's players should be well rested when the take the field for Saturday morning's padded, "Family Day" practice at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
Gruden cancelled Friday morning's practice in order to reward his players for good effort and to allow their bodies to rest after one week of training camp workouts.
"It was on the schedule, we just didn't tell anybody," Gruden said when asked why he cancelled Friday morning's practice. "We had four days in a row of pads and we knew we were going to have some real heavy contact days back to back. We really like the effort. We gave the players the morning off to get some sleep and extra treatment. We had a team meeting last night and we challenged them to get better, faster and get more detailed here in the second week of camp."
Gruden suggested the Bucs could have a few key players back in action soon, including wide receiver Joey Galloway (groin), center Jeff Faine (back), safety Sabby Piscitelli (knee), wide receiver Chad Lucas (hamstring) and fullback B.J. Askew (ankle).
"We don't have any serious injuries and we didn't call of practice today because we have an epic of injuries here," said Gruden. "We're confident Joey will be back next week, hopefully Monday. Jeff Faine has made real progress and there's a good chance he'll be back tomorrow. There's a good chance we'll see B.J. tomorrow."
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