Halftime X-rays on Karl Williams' hip were encouraging
WR Karl Williams couldn't join in the scrum that followed his muffed punt Sunday against Chicago because the full weight of defensive tackle Carl Powell had mashed Williams into the turf at an odd angle. After a long delay, Williams was eventually helped off the field by the team's medical cart.
While the full extent of Williams' injury will probably not be revealed until Head Coach Tony Dungy's press conference on Monday afternoon, the postgame news was encouraging. The Bucs' sixth-year receiver and main punt returner received X-ray examinations at halftime and does not appear to have a fracture. He was diagnosed with a 'hip pointer,' a term that usually refers to a deep bruise in that area.
LB Jamie Duncan also left the game in the fourth quarter due to a right knee sprain, and his status is also unknown. RB Rabih Abdullah suffered a concussion, the third Buc to sustain that injury in the last four weeks, following John Howell and Todd Yoder.
Most of the Bucs, however, were in pain of a different sort Sunday night, as the loss sunk in during the postgame locker room session. The Bucs were clearly disappointed, but also confident that a playoff run could still be made. Below is a sampling of their comments.
K Martin Gramatica on his unsuccessful field goal attempt at the end of the game: "There was no wind out there. I was hoping it would drift a little bit because it was going straight at the upright. There is nothing worse than (to miss) with your whole team depending on you. There is no excuse. Right now it doesn't feel like I can do it, but I will come back. Something this team does, we stick together."
DT Warren Sapp on Gramatica's attempt: "I definitely would have bet my life that was going through the uprights."
LB Derrick Brooks on the same topic: "Obviously, Martin (Gramatica) has made those in most situations. But we are going to take this one as a team."
DE Simeon Rice on losing a game mostly on big plays: "It is painful. We expect more than this. You have to give them credit, but I felt that this was one we should have won. The big plays saved them and killed us. We had to play from a panic standpoint.
Head Coach Tony Dungy on the nature of the Bucs' loss: "I thought we played with a lot of good effort. You have to give credit to Chicago. They are playing hard and with a lot of emotion. We had little breakdowns that led to giving up big plays. Chicago is too good of a team. You can't do that. Chicago is playing good football and they deserve to be in first place."
RB Warrick Dunn on a Bucs offense that moved the ball but struggled to find the end zone: "We didn't come out and play the type of football that we were starting to play on offense. I think we have to start executing and protecting the football. It is going to be tough."
QB Brad Johnson on the Bucs' offense: "We didn't score touchdowns in the red zone, but I thought we did a great job of fighting. We had a great game plan going in. The offensive line did a great job of picking up the blitzes. I thought the offensive line played tremendous, but we just can't afford to get down like we did."
S John Lynch on the game getting away from the Bucs: "It is tough loss. In the first half, we really had the upper hand even though the scoreboard did not indicate it. It just got out of hand in the second half. They said they were going to try to get the ball downfield. We did a good job of coming back but it was too little, too late."