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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Favorable Friday

Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn return for key end-of-week practice


FB Mike Alstott returned to practice on Friday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' midweek injury report is long, and it includes such prominent names as DE Steve White, FB Mike Alstott, RB Warrick Dunn, WRs Jacquez Green and Bert Emanuel, TE Dave Moore and, of course, QB Trent Dilfer. Dilfer is out with a fractured shoulder and White will miss this week's game due to a turf toe injury, but the rest of the Buccaneers' roster took a turn for the healthy on Friday.

Tampa Bay's irreplaceable offensive backfield of Alstott and Dunn watched Wednesday and Thursday practices from the sideline. Alstott was scheduled to work out with the team on Wednesday but suffered a neck strain lifting weights that morning. He was held out of the next two practices for precautionary reasons. Dunn also sat out the midweek workouts due to the left ankle sprain that has been nagging him for weeks. The injury kept him out of the Monday night win over Minnesota on December 6 but he returned last Sunday to help Tampa Bay defeat the Lions.

Both were back on the field on Friday. "Our running backs did well today," said Head Coach Tony Dungy. "It was good to get them out there practicing. They both made it all of the way through and looked good. They should be fine on Sunday. Dave Moore also did well today. He doesn't miss practice very often…he doesn't like to sit out. But Todd (Toriscelli, head trainer) thought it would be better for him to sit out a day and get some rest for his knee."

Dungy also indicated that Green (foot) and Emanuel (back) practiced today without being hampered by their injuries. He expects those two starters to be in the lineup on Sunday. After practice, Dungy indicated that White would not play in Oakland and would be named a Friday inactive. In fact, the Bucs later announced that White, Dilfer, G Ken Blackman and T George Hegamin would be the Bucs' four inactives.

Those who did work out on Friday put in a good day of practice, according to Dungy. In fact, the week as a whole was a good one for a team looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win this weekend. "We started out a little slow on Wednesday," said Dungy, "but that's to be expected from a team coming off two emotional games. I thought yesterday and today were very good days of practice, and I think that will carry over into Sunday."

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