With first-round pick Davin Joseph sidelined with a knee injury, Bucs third-year offensive lineman Jeb Terry is preparing to make his first career start at right guard vs. the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

“It’s been a long wait,” said Terry. “It feels like it’s been forever. Now I just have to go out there and show what I can do. I’m excited.”

Terry, who entered the league as a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina in 2004, had an impressive offseason and was pushing Joseph for the starting right guard job before Joseph emerged as the leader, which prompted the team to move Terry to left guard.

“I would say Davin’s really a special player,” said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. “Jeb Terry is a guy who has experience. He’s a good, solid football player. He’s a physical man. The other guy has clearly earned a job. That’s no disrespect to anybody.”


Not only will Davin Joseph be sidelined for the season opener Sunday, second-year guard Dan Buenning might also be held out of Tampa Bay’s game vs. Baltimore.

Buenning, who started all 17 games at left guard for the Bucs as a rookie last season, suffered a sprained ankle in the team’s preseason finale vs. Houston. He was held out of the first two practices of the week and was limited in Friday’s practices. Should Buenning not be able to go Sunday, Sean Mahan, who started all 17 games at right guard for the Bucs last season, will start in his place.

“That’s still questionable,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Buenning’s status for Sunday’s game. “We’ll just cross our fingers and hope he continues to improve.

“He practiced a little bit, but he’s still questionable. He’s not at his best. That’s for sure.”

Tampa Bay starting middle linebacker Shelton Quarles, who is battling a groin injury, practiced Friday but remains questionable for Sunday’s game.

“I thought he did pretty good,” Gruden said of Quarles. “We’ll see how he feels later today and tomorrow, but he was able to move around and practice some.”

Tampa Bay isn't the only team with several players nursing injuries.

The Bucs' first opponent of the 2006 regular season, the Baltimore Ravens, have several players listed on their injury report.

Ravens running back P.J. Daniels (thigh) is doubtful for Sunday's game. Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (thigh) is listed as questionable. Four Ravens players — running back Jamal Lewis (hip), wide receiver Derrick Mason (thigh), cornerback Chris McAllister (thigh) and kicker Matt Stover (back) are listed as probable for the regular season opener.

The Buccaneers made a pair of roster moves Friday, signing cornerback Dion Byrum to their eight-man practice squad and releasing offensive tackle Torrin Tucker from the injured reserve list.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Byrum entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears in May. He was a three-year starter at Ohio State, recording 147 tackles, 10 interceptions and 39 passes defensed.

The Bucs originally signed Tucker in April as a restricted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys. He joined the Bucs after the Cowboys declined to match the Bucs’ contract offer. Tucker was sidelined for most of training camp and all of preseason with a knee injury.

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