On a day when the injury bug kept biting the Buccaneers as head coach Jon Gruden revealed that running back Michael Pittman would be lost for six to eight weeks with an ankle injury, Tampa Bay did receive some positive news on the injury front. Veteran Bucs left tackle Luke Petitgout revealed that Friday’s ACL surgery went well and that he plans on having a quick recovery. Petitgout was lost for the season last week at Carolina in the Bucs’ 20-7 victory when defensive tackle Kris Jenkins rolled up on his knee.
“The surgery went well and I’m just rehabbing,” Petitgout said. “I got to keep my ACL. I didn’t have a graft. I didn’t have a complete reconstruction. It’s a four- to five-month [injury]. They just had to reconnect it.”
If Petitgout had to have a graft or a reconstruction he would have been looking at an eight to 12 month recovery timetable. The fact that it was minor ACL surgery bodes well for the nine-year veteran, who may be ready to go by the Buccaneers starts their offseason workouts next March.
“I [tore] the MCL, too, but that’s [nothing major],” Petitgout said. “This basically cuts my rehab in half by being able to preserve my own ligament.”
Without Petitgout’s presence on the field, Tampa Bay essentially has two rookies in Donald Penn at left tackle and Arron Sears at left guard that have six NFL starts between them both, in addition to two second-year players in right guard Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood. Only center John Wade, who is a 10-year veteran, has more than 18 NFL starts along Tampa Bay’s offensive line.
With Petitgout on injured reserve, he’ll have to join the ranks of fullback Mike Alstott as a sideline supporter in street clothes. Petitgout said that he will do what he can to help Tampa Bay’s young offensive line from a mentor standpoint.
“The coaching staff is going to do a great job,” Petitgout said. “They are going to see everything we need to see. It’s just going over the smaller things to look for [that I can help with].”
Petitgout’s replacement, Donald Penn, got his first NFL start on Sunday at Indianapolis against one of the league’s best pass rushers, Dwight Freeney. Freeney was able to get a half sack in the game and also finished with two tackles, but the half sack came on a stunt inside and was not Penn’s responsibility.
Petitgout echoed Gruden’s praise for Penn’s solid performance against the Colts.
“He did a good job,” Petitgout said. “He’s got the ability, he just has to keep improving. It’s the finer points of the game and the preparation and being an every down player every day. Come to work every day and work hard and take of yourself and kind of just be a professional.”
This isn’t the first time Petitgout has finished a year early on injured reserve. Last year, while playing for the New York Giants, he broke his leg against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 12. Petitgout chalked up his unfortunate injuries in back-to-back years as bad luck.
“You can’t get down because when you get down, you beat yourself,” Petitgout said. “[Crap] happens and it happened to me. Two years in a row I’ve had someone fall on my leg. I don’t know – wrong place, wrong time.”
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 season and 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft next year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
Looking for the best selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers merchandise? Pewter Report endorses Sports Fan-Attic, with 9 Tampa Bay area locations in most major malls. To shop for Bucs merchandise on the Internet, as well as the largest selection of NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR, visit SportsFanAtticShop.com.
WATCH Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds and Jim Flynn each Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. on Sports Zone with Al Keck and Tom Korun on ABC Action News in Tampa Bay for Bucs game highlights and the latest Bucs news. And for the best local coverage of Tampa Bay sports and Tampa Bay news, check out ABCActionNews.com.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.