WR Bert Emanuel is eager to play against his former team
Yesterday's win over the Kansas City Chiefs had more turnovers than the Bucs would have liked, and it certainly had more late-game tenseness than anybody on the Tampa Bay sideline needed. Happily, however, it had a lot less calls from the sideline injury phone than in recent weeks.
Heading into the tenth game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons in Raymond James Stadium next Sunday, the Buccaneers are about as healthy as they have been all year. Of course, a good percentage of any football team's roster is playing with nagging ailments at this time of the year, but the Bucs' official Wednesday injury report will probably shorten up a bit from last week.
There was only one injury of note for the Buccaneers from yesterday's game. C/G Todd Washington, who played briefly in place of Jorge Diaz at left guard, injured his left ankle when an opponent rolled up on it. Though the injury is not considered overly serious, Washington may be unable to practice with the team on Wednesday. A more complete determination of Washington's status will be available on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, the Bucs are anticipating the return of a pair of wide receivers, Karl Williams and Bert Emanuel. While Williams has missed the last three games with a foot sprain and Emanuel has sat out five in a row with a hamstring strain, young Buc receivers Darnell McDonald and Yo Murphy have filled in admirably. Still, the team is eager to add Williams' clutch receiving and Emanuel's big-play threat back into the offense. Emanuel, who ran with the team in today's light walk-through, may be particularly interested in playing against the Falcons, for whom he spent his first four NFL seasons.
"I think Karl was ready to go yesterday and could have played," Head Coach Tony Dungy said on Monday. "Bert is very determined to play this week, so he's going to practice on Wednesday. Assuming he gets through it (practice) okay, I think there is a good shot we'll have them both back."