The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter their much-anticipated Monday Night match up against the Minnesota Vikings with a number of injuries to their secondary. SS John Lynch (left knee sprain) and FS Damien Robinson (left hip strain) did not practice today and their playing status will be determined at game-time according to Dungy. Second-year player Shevin Smith assumed the strong safety spot, while Dexter Jackson manned the free safety slot during today's practice.
Role players played a prominent role during last season's 27-24 upset win over the then-undefeated Minnesota Vikings. CB Ronde Barber replaced CB Donnie Abraham at left cornerback and had a key fourth quarter sack of QB Randall Cunningham, while CB Brian Kelly stepped in for the injured Anthony Parker and responded with six tackles.
"We were in the same situation last year against the Vikings and different guys stepped up to help us win," Bucs head coach Tony Dungy said.
RB Warrick Dunn (left knee sprain) did not practice and his status will be re-evaluated prior to the game. Second-year pro RB Rabih Abdullah took reps with the first team.
QB Trent Dilfer (right clavicle fracture) is out for the next six weeks. Ken Blackman (left knee sprain) is doubtful. CB Floyd Young (left shoulder sprain) did practice and is listed as probable. For the second consecutive day, QB Eric Zeier (right rib contusion) practiced and is listed as probable for Monday's contest.
"Eric's doing OK," Dungy said after the Bucs' afternoon practice. "I would think that he would be the No. 2 guy. He's had a couple of days of practice and has gotten use to being bumped around in practice, so he's coming along."