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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rice Sent Home

The Buccaneers deactivated starting right DE Simeon Rice and sent him back to Tampa Sunday morning based on an undisclosed issue concerning club discipline


Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice has been declared inactive for Sunday's game at San Francisco due to an undisclosed issue concerning club discipline. Rice flew home Tampa Sunday morning while the rest of the Buccaneers prepared for a 4:15 p.m. kickoff against the 49ers. Third-year defensive end Dewayne White will start in Rice's place at right end.

General Manager Bruce Allen discussed the team's decision to deactivate Rice roughly an hour before kickoff. Allen spoke with Rice before his return to Tampa but declined to discuss the specifics of the situation or that conversation. As always, the team treats such issues as internal matters to be handled privately.

"We have club policies that we don't disclose different things, but we felt it was the right thing to do based on our policies," said Allen. "We're just going to deal with this, fight through this game and see where it goes from there. I had an understanding with Simeon this morning that we were on the same page and we're just going to go from there."

Allen did say that Rice had hoped to play on Sunday.

"He said he wanted to play and help the team, but we felt this was the best thing for the team," said Allen. "Our focus when we came out here was to play a game and win it, and that's what we're going to try to do. It's about the Buccaneers."

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