Mike Alstott could miss practice time
For two consecutive games, Tampa Bay's immediate postgame injury report has been viewed as added good news on top of important wins. For a contending team in mid-December, the Buccaneers' training room has not been overly populated. However, a few days to assess the damage from Sunday's 23-16 victory over Detroit has revealed a few injury situations that bear a closer look.
(See bottom of story for a Thursday morning addendum to the injury situation.)
The Buccaneers released their first injury report of the week Wednesday afternoon, and starting DE Steve White was prominently featured. For several weeks, White has been playing with a slight turf toe injury on his right foot that has not hampered him significantly. However, he aggravated the injury during Sunday's Detroit game and is now considered doubtful to play in Oakland. DE Marcus Jones is likely to make his fourth start in White's place.
A starter on offense was also added to the list, as G Kevin Dogins is considered questionable with sprains to both his left knee and ankle. Dogins suffered the injury midway through the Lions game but was able to stay in for every snap. He only recently joined the starting lineup, replacing Jorge Diaz at left guard for the last two games and drawing praise from the coaches for his play. Diaz would re-assume his starting role if Dogins is unable to play.
In addition, FB Mike Alstott, while not yet added to the injury report, is not expected to practice on Wednesday. Alstott was not injured against the Lions, but he was suffering from a strained neck after a Wednesday morning weight-training session. Alstott's status for the injury report has not yet been determined.
LB Don Davis has also been added to the list as questionable after straining his right hamstring against the Lions. Though Davis is not a starter on the Buccaneer defense, he is one of the team's most effective special teams players with 11 kick-coverage stops.
The remainder of Tampa Bay's list sports the usual suspects, players who have been struggling with or playing through injuries in recent weeks. That includes RB Warrick Dunn, who couldn't play with his sprained left ankle in the Monday night win over Minnesota on December 6, but returned to record a career-high 115 receiving yards against Detroit last Sunday. It also features WR Jacquez Green, who has played much of the season on a left foot strain of varying degree from week to week. Both are listed as probable.
S John Lynch is also considered probable despite aggravating his left knee sprain against Detroit. Lynch did not participate in most of the team's practices last week but did play all but three snaps against the Lions. Lynch came out briefly in the fourth quarter after hurting his knee, but returned after one series and later added the interception that set up Tampa Bay's game-winning touchdown.
Thursday addendum: The Buccaneers' training room reports that G Kevin Dogins will return to practice this afternoon and that FB Mike Alstott is scheduled to return for Friday's workout. Alstott is being held out for precautionary reasons with a stiff neck. TE Dave Moore, who did practice yesterday, will not participate in today's workout due to a right knee strain.