With the exception of their special teams play, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t have a whole lot of positives come out of their 14-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night.
In their defense, the Bucs had just three full days in-between their first and second preseason games and were able to hold just one practice (Wednesday) before traveling to Jacksonville for the exhibition contest.
To make matters worse, the Bucs were were also without injured starters weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks, running back Charlie Garner, left tackle Derrick Deese, middle linebacker Shelton Quarles, right guard Matt Stinchcomb and left defensive end Greg Spires for the second consecutive preseason game.
But some good news came out of One Buccaneer Place on Saturday afternoon. According to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, several injured players, including most of the starters listed above, could play next Saturday against the Miami Dolphins.
“Hopefully Charlie Garner (groin), Matt Stinchcomb (calf), Derrick Brooks (knee), Charles Lee (hamstring), Derrick Deese (foot), Ellis Wyms (ankle) and Greg Spires (undisclosed) can return to this game,” Gruden said. “We are going to hold Shelton Quarles (wrist) out for another week.”
Gruden even suggested the starters could see more action against the Dolphins than they did in the Bucs’ first two preseason games.
Rookie G Jeb Terry was the only Bucs player to sustain a significant injury during Friday night’s game, but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
“The only significant injury was Jeb Terry, who sprained his left elbow and we think he will be okay,” said Gruden. “He sprained his left elbow and we think he’ll be questionable for the game, but his practice schedule will be day-to-day.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on the play of the offensive line:
“Our offensive line is going to take a lot of criticism after last night’s game, but we have to play a lot better at quarterback. There is a point of emphasis where the protection is good, where we have to keep the ball in the flat position. We have to find passing lanes and we have to throw the ball. There were seven or eight times (last night) where we were quick to throw the trigger and get out of there. And hopefully those are signs that Chris Simms can learn from and Brian Griese has not taken a lot of snaps here in the last year or so. Hopefully, we can do a better job sensing the passing lanes, sliding in the pocket, keeping the ball in the throwing position and making more plays that eluded us last night. Obviously, we are confident that (Matt) Stinchcomb and Derrick Deese, some of these guys will be healthy, but we have to see them at some point.”
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