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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sound of Body

Though emotionally rocked by Tuesday’s events, like all Americans, Buc players are physically in good shape


C Jeff Christy appears to have a better than average chance to participate Sunday if the Bucs' game against Philly is played

Though emotionally rocked by Tuesday's events, like all Americans, Buc players are physically in good shape//

As of Wednesday, there was no decision as to whether the National Football League would be playing its games this weekend. If it does, however, and if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday as scheduled, it appears likely that center Jeff Christy will be on the field.

Christy has missed the Bucs' last three games, including the regular season opener last Sunday in Dallas, due to a left knee sprain. Though he had targeted the Cowboys game for his return, which would have been an almost unnaturally swift recovery, Christy was held out of that contest, thus breaking a personal string of 48 consecutive regular season starts.

On Wednesday, however, the Buccaneers' injury report was released and Christy has been labeled as 'probable.' By NFL injury report guidelines, that means there is a 75% chance the player will play in the designated game.

Though center Todd Washington has received strong praise for his play in Christy's absence, the return of the Bucs' four-time Pro Bowler would immeasurably help the team's depth in the interior offensive line. In Dallas, with Washington in the starting lineup, the Bucs' only backup at center or either guard spot was rookie free agent Leon Hires, who was just signed to the active roster a day before the opener.

The upgrade of Christy, who was at One Buccaneer Place testing his knee on Tuesday after the terrorist attacks occurred in New York and Washington, D.C., is part of a promising overall return to health of the Bucs' roster.

"I think we're pretty good," said Dungy on Wednesday. "Keyshawn Johnson is banged up and probably won't practice today. Jeff Christy's going to do some work. We should start to get some guys back and we came off last week fairly healthy.

"From a health standpoint, other than Keyshawn we should be pretty good."

Johnson is one of four players listed as probable on the Bucs' seven-man injury report, joining DE Ellis Wyms, S Dexter Jackson and Christy. Johnson suffered a deep thigh bruise early in Sunday's game and was limited in his abilities to cut and accelerate throughout that contest, though he still hauled in seven passes for 71 yards. While the team doesn't expect Johnson to practice on Wednesday or Thursday, it is assumed he will be ready by Sunday.

Wyms, a rookie, was activated on Sunday in a game-time decision but did not play in the game. Jackson's hamstring injury was incurred against Dallas but is not considered serious.

CB Dwight Smith is the only Buc listed as questionable, meaning he's about as likely to play as not play. Smith is trying to recover from a mid-foot sprain suffered 13 days ago in Atlanta, a difficult injury for a cornerback who constantly has to backpedal, turn and cut.

DT James Cannida (knee sprain) and G Russ Hochstein (foot fracture) have definitely been ruled out for Sunday's game, if it is played. If this weekend's NFL slate is cancelled, the Bucs will have two more weeks to get back to form, as the schedule calls for a Tampa Bay bye on the third weekend.

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