CB Donnie Abraham suffered a back injury while returning this interception and may miss practice time this week
If rookie cornerback Dwight Smith's first extensive action in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' secondary was a test of his NFL readiness, then Smith skipped all the midterms and pop quizzes and went straight to the finals. How else to describe the scenario in Smith's first exposure: Green Bay, Brett Favre at the controls, fourth quarter, Packers trailing by six.
Smith was on the field for four such drives because Pro Bowler Donnie Abraham was on the bench for the fourth quarter, fighting a back injury suffered earlier in the game. Though the Bucs managed to hold off Favre – but not punt return man Allen Rossum, unfortunately – the team would not like to be without Abraham, even given Smith's successful debut.
Only four injuries were reported by the Bucs' training room after the game, and Abraham's appears to be the most severe, at first glance.
· Abraham suffered a lower back contusion at the end of his 46-yard interception return in the second quarter. Though he played on after the injury in the second and third quarter, he was unable to play in the fourth. It is a strong possibility that Abraham will miss practice on Wednesday. · TE Todd Yoder sustained a mild concussion on a kickoff return play. He is not expected to miss any time, but concussions can be difficult to gauge at times. · CB Ronde Barber played much of the game with a mild left hamstring strain, an injury that did not occur on any specific play. Though the team will have a better idea on Monday morning, it's likely that Barber will be able to practice this week. · WR Keyshawn Johnson's most recent injury is bruised ribs, sustained on another hard hit over the middle. He has missed practice time in recent weeks with a variety of leg injuries but it is hoped he will be in action on Wednesday.
From the Locker Room
Head Coach Tony Dungy on the possibility of a field goal try at the end of the game: "(Martin) Gramatica wanted to try it from 68 yards; we tried to get a bit closer."
Dungy on the team's plan for the last few minutes: "We were hoping to get a good punt, down to about the 10, and then hold them so we could the ball at midfield. We just came up short."
Dungy on the Bucs' running attack and the flow of the game: "They stopped our running game. We had to throw. Our defense struggled all day. Green Bay has a good defense. They stacked the line and we couldn't run effectively.
"This was a tough loss. Green Bay made the big plays down the stretch. We have to win to get even. We have to improve for the second half of the season."
Safety John Lynch on the game: "This game meant a lot to us. This was a disappointing game. We wanted this game and we had the opportunities. It was in our hands. The Packers find a way to make the big play. That punt return broke our back."
Quarterback Brad Johnson on the end of the game: "We had a chance to win, we just couldn't get that last score. They stopped us when they had to. At the end in that final drive, we thought we had time, but we just ran out of time."
Johnson on the Bucs' offense: "We did some good things today, we just didn't capitalize on them. The offensive line did a good job today. A couple of times I held the ball too long. We had a few check downs today and some worked. They did a good job of adjusting."
Green Bay QB Brett Favre on the Bucs' defense: "I've come to the realization that every time we play these guys it's one of those games. I have a tremendous amount of respect not only for their team, but for their defense, and I always will as long as those guys are there lining up against us. They play hard and they create problems for opposing offenses."
Green Bay RB Ahman Green on his touchdown run: "That was one of the momentum shifters and the punt return sealed it for us. Everybody felt the wave going our way. Then after the punt return the defense just had to hold on, which they did, and they did a great job."