An Injured Offensive Line Could Cost Buccaneers
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By Kyra Hallett
Like last week, cornerbacks Anthony Gaitor and E.J. Biggers along with wide receiver Arrelious Benn were on the injury report and are once again. All three have been doing more in practice each day, but some are doing more than others.
Wide receiver Arrelious Benn is listed as probable this week verses the Giants. His knee injury has been getting better and Coach Greg Schiano said that he should play on Sunday as long as he feels well. He has been participating full in practices. If Benn does play, expect to see him in the pass game, in the two receiver set. He is versatile and can be used in many different ways. Benn is a big guy who is explosive.
Cornerback E.J. Biggers has been participating full in practices but is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Coach Schiano said that he is waiting for Biggers to gain the confidence to push off his foot again.
Cornerback Anthony Gaitor is listed as doubtful verses the Giants with a hamstring injury. He has been participating full in practices but is still not ready.
A few injuries that came from last weeks game verses the Carolina Panthers and during practice were running back LeGarrette Blount, guard Carl Nicks, and tackle Jeremy Trueblood.
Running back, LeGarrette Blount, was rushing the ball on Sunday when he took a hard hit and went down. He left the game but was later cleared to play. During practice this last week, something seemed wrong so they sent him to get an MRI of his back and neck. The MRI came back negative and he was diagnosed with a “stinger”. He went back to full practice on Thursday but with no contact and is listed as probable verses the Giants. His neck injury doesn’t seem to be holding him back but with the depth the Bucs have in running back, expect to see others stepping up behind starter Doug Martin.
Guard, Carl Nicks, injured his big toe in the game verses the Panthers. It was jammed and swelled up like a grapefruit. Nicks has been limited in practice during the week and listed as probably for Sunday’s game. Coach Schiano thinks he’ll play Sunday.
Tackle, Jeremy Trueblood, twisted his ankle in practice on Wednesday. He did not practice Wednesday and was limited Friday, doing some things. Coach Schiano is not sure if he will play on Sunday and is listed as questionable.
With two injuries to the offensive line, the Bucs signed back guard/tackle, Derek Hardman. He filled in late in his 2010 rookie season and made the roster last year. He is 6-6, 300-pounds and has helped the Bucs out the last two seasons when they needed him to step up. Even if Nicks and Trueblood play, they will be playing with pain so adding Hardman is for depth.
The Bucs will need a strong offensive and defensive lines to battle the Giants.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.