Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia missed his fifth straight day of practice on Tuesday with a calf strain he suffered on July 31.
Despite missing three games due to injury in his Buccaneer debut in 2007, Garcia completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,440 yards and tossed 13 touchdowns and four interceptions en route to helping the Bucs win the NFC South division title.
Garcia, 38, was also excused from the first two days of training camp to attend the 35th-anniversary celebration of his father's junior college football team's championship in California.
Even though he's missing valuable time on the practice field, Garcia insists he's making progress and should be back out on the field sooner rather than later.
"It's just a minor [calf] strain and I don't think it's anything to get too worried about at this point in training camp," said Garcia. "It's gotten a lot better over the last few days. It's just one of those things when it's down in your legs you can't just step right back onto the practice field and start pushing yourself, otherwise, you'll just reinjure it. Hopefully before you know it I'll be back out on the field. It's not happening as fast as I would like it to, but that's just the way these things go."
Although no official decision or announcement has been made, Garcia acknowledged that it was doubtful he'd play in Tampa Bay's preseason opener vs. the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 9.
"I don't think that I've been ruled out, but it's highly unlikely [that I play]," said Garcia. "I haven't practiced in a few days. I'm sure Coach Gruden wouldn't want to throw me out there not having practiced. It's also preseason. It's not a sense of having to get ready for this one, but rather getting ready for the regular season opener."
With Garcia unlikely to play vs. the Dolphins, Luke McCown likely will be Tampa Bay's starting quarterback in Miami on Saturday.
McCown, 27, started three of the five games he played in in place of the injured Garcia in 2007. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,009 yards and tossed five touchdowns and three interceptions in Garcia's place.
Ironically, the Dolphins released their depth chart earlier this week, and Luke's brother Josh is listed as the Dolphins' starting signal caller, which will allow Josh and Luke to face off for the first time since they entered the NFL in 2002 and 2004, respectively.
"We've talked about it since we were in high school," said Luke McCown. "We were on the same basketball team in high school – Josh was a senior and I was a sophomore. We got to start on the same varsity team, which was a real treat. We've dreamed about it for a long time.
"We missed out on it in my sophomore year in college. [Louisiana Tech] opened up with SMU and he had just transferred from SMU to Sam Houston State, so he ran away from me then, but he's not going to run this time."
In addition to Garcia, the Bucs held several other injured players out of Tuesday morning's practice, including Bucs wide receiver Joey Galloway (groin), WR Antonio Bryant (knee), fullback B.J. Askew (ankle), cornerback Sammy Davis (hip) and defensive tackle Jovan Haye (groin).
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