LB Shelton Quarles played only half of Sunday's game against Minnesota, but managed to make a significant impact nonetheless. It was Quarles' blitz on QB Daunte Culpepper in the second quarter that forced a hurried throw, which LB Derrick Brooks picked off and returned 34 yards for a touchdown. The Bucs took a 28-10 lead at that point and never looked back.
Quarles went into the locker room with the Bucs' leading 31-10 at halftime, and the training staff shut him down for the day. The fourth-year linebacker, who starts on the strong side for Tampa Bay, had aggravated an existing groin injury, an ailment that ranks as the team's most significant heading into the Atlanta game.
"Injury-wise, we've got just a couple little problems," said Dungy during his Monday press conference. "Shelton Quarles re-hurt his groin, and that looks like it may limit him this week. Don Davis also got hurt covering a kick, so we may be down a couple linebackers early in the week. Other than that, I think we just had the normal bumps and bruises."
Dungy was summarizing the Monday news from the Buccaneers' training room, which is off limits to the media, but not Buccaneers.com. The feeling in that room is that Quarles will not practice on Wednesday and could be in danger of missing Sunday's game in the Georgia Dome. Davis' injury, to his ribs, is less severe, but will also most likely keep him out of practice on Wednesday.
CB Donnie Abraham also visited the training room on Monday, but not with the injury the staff expected. Though an awkward swipe at a pass against the Vikings initially resulted in a ribcage ligament pull, that injury was not bothering Abraham on Monday. Instead, he was suffering from a hip flexor strain, but hopes to be ready to go on Wednesday.
"Donnie's got a little hip injury," said Dungy. "I guess he got hit in the side…ribcage and hip…we'll have a little better idea on that probably after practice today, how he's able to run. Don has kind of a rib-cartilage bruise. John McLaughlin had one last year…you get hit kind of at an awkward angle covering a kick. We'll just see how uncomfortable he is. It's nothing that will limit him if he can play with the pain."
A few other players, including RB Warrick Dunn, had brief but noticeable rests during Sunday's game, but not due to any lasting injuries.
"Dehydration," explained Dungy. "We had a couple guys…Chidi (Ahanotu), early in the game, Warrick, Frank Middleton was cramping a little bit at times. It was a warm day, the warmest one we've had in a couple of weeks. And we had some emotion going out there, so I think that contributed as well."
The first official injury report for the Buccaneers is not compiled until Wednesday. By Wednesday afternoon, that information will be available in the matchup section of Buccaneers.com.