The Tampa Bay Buccaneers adjusted their practice schedule accordingly due to Tropical Storm Fay, which hit Florida on Tuesday morning and is expected hit Tampa or cross by the surrounding area on Tuesday evening.
Tampa Bay moved its practice up to 10:30 a.m. and enjoyed the return of some important Buccaneers on Tuesday, while it is finding out about the potential loss of another.
With only two more preseason games and the first regular season game fast approaching, head coach Jon Gruden's team just got healthier with the partial return of wide receiver Joey Galloway. Galloway missed all of training camp with a groin injury.
While Galloway is on his way back, starting right guard Davin Joseph has a foot injury. The third-year pro is undergoing tests to determine the severity of his foot injury at this time. It is unclear the nature of the injury and how long he may be out.
"Davin Joseph has hurt his foot," said Gruden. "He is getting X-rays, examinations, and all those things at this point in time. I don't having anything concrete in terms of what the injury is. When we do we'll let you know.
"[Galloway] wasn't full today but he was participating. He is not full go. He is a work in progress. He is getting better. He is not 100 percent, and therefore it is hard to say, but he is back in a limited capacity."
Quarterback Jeff Garcia practiced on Tuesday. Garcia missed over a week of training camp with a strained calf, and both preseason games. Starting in place of Garcia was quarterback Luke McCown against Miami, and quarterback Brian Griese against New England.
"Our quarterback Jeff Garcia returned today, and looked good, so I was pleased with that," said Gruden.
Garcia discussed his return to practice. After missing a significant amount of time in training camp due to his calf injury, Garcia indicated his progress and experience in the offense from last season has him much further ahead than where he was a year ago after being healthy through training camp and the preseason.
Garcia does not seem to be 100 percent healthy, but is making progress towards that. He was optimistic that he would play in the next preseason game on Saturday.
"I don't think my mobility will be a problem," said Garcia. "It is not like I've ever been extremely fast. I've just been extremely quick to get away, but after that it is get rid of the football and make a smart decision. I don't think that it is going to effect me in that way. I believe that come Saturday, I will still have the same mobility that I've always had."
Gruden was more cautious in discussing Garcia's status for the home contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We'll make that decision in the next few days once we see him for a couple of days," Gruden said. "We'll talk to him and see how he looks."
With Garcia and Galloway limited in practice the pair has not had much preparation time together. At the end of training camp, the quarterback and wide receiver worked together aside from the team on some routes at half speed.
"Obviously, it is important to get out with Joey and get some practice work in," said Garcia. "He hasn't been running full speed yet, but it is good to get out here and throw with him. I think we've had some good workouts out here.
"I think we can do what we need to do in practice. It is always nice to have those game reps because there are some adjustments that you make in a game instinctively that you don't make on the practice field sometimes. If we don't get that opportunity then we have what we did last year to draw upon. That was some time away from where we are right now, but I think we'll get right back to where we will be comfortable again." HAYE RETURNS TO PRACTICE Defensive tackle Jovan Haye returned to practice after missing over a week of training camp with a groin injury. Haye did not play in the first two preseason games. Starting in place of Haye was defensive tackle Ryan Sims.
"Yep, [Haye] is back," said Gruden. "He is going to work himself back into it. Whether or not he plays will be a decision we make later in the week."
ASKEW LIKELY TO MISS NEXT GAME Starting fullback B.J. Askew missed practice on Tuesday after missing the preseason game against New England on Saturday. His injured ankle limited him for much of training camp, and caused backup Byron Storer to start and log a lot of playing time. The Bucs also signed free agent fullbacks Carl Stewart and J.D. Runnels to help offset the loss of Askew in practice. Gruden was asked when Askew would be back.
"I don't know," said Gruden. "B.J. is probably going to be out this game. We hope to get him back shortly after that. He is getting better and he is working at it."
Last season, Askew missed some time late in the season with a sprained ankle. There were a few games that Askew played in but was unable to practice the week leading up to the game. Some have wondered if the injury has lingered from last season.
"It is not same injury [as last year]. It is not related, but it has obviously cost him a lot of time," Gruden said. "I will say this, Byron Storer is a hell of a fullback. He really is. I'm really pleased with what he is doing. He is catching the ball. He is doing some excellent things as a blocker and as a football player."
TROUPE BANGED UP BUT EXPECTED TO PLAY Tight end Ben Troupe has been bothered by a foot injury. He missed some practice time towards the end of training camp. Troupe played in the preseason game against New England, but was observing practice on Tuesday at One Buc Place.
"Ben Troupe played a little bit the other night," Gruden said. "He had a setback to a degree. He is going to give it a go on Saturday."
DID PETITGOUT SUSPENSION INFLUENCE BUCS" TO RELEASE HIM? Former Buccaneer Luke Petitgout was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season on Aug. 18. Petitgout had injured his knee in the fourth game of last season and missed the remainder of the year. He had been on the physically-unable-to-perform list prior to the Bucs releasing him last Saturday.
Gruden was asked if the team knew about the four-game suspension for Petitgout prior to his release.
"You'll have to check with [Bucs general manager Bruce Allen] and the league office on that," said Gruden. "I've already addressed that. I do like Luke Petitgout a lot and that is about all I can say."
Gruden also did not indicate that the suspension had anything to do with the veteran's release.
"We made the decision to do what we did, for the reasons we said we did. Bruce and the league office have that information. Again I think a lot of Luke Petitgout. I think he can come back and play, he just has to get right."
QUOTE OF THE DAY When Galloway came out for practice as his teammates were stretching, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris notified the team by yelling, "White Tiger." Gruden dubbed the veteran receiver that nickname for the white tiger at Busch Gardens. Gruden said appearances by both Galloway and the tiger are rare, but very special when they occur.
"Was that the White Tiger greeting? I know that when he does make an appearance that it is somewhat special," said Garcia.
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