Brooks, Garcia return; McCown's No. 2
Practice has wrapped up for the week, and things look good for most of the injured, including LB Derrick Brooks (ribs) and QB Jeff Garcia (calf).
Both practiced today and are likely to play on Sunday, coach Jon Gruden said.
Regarding Brooks, Gruden said, "I think he'll go. We'll get to the stadium and make sure. But it does appear that our captain will be back."
When asked about Garcia, Gruden said, "I believe he'll be the starter. Now, what his playing strength and stamina is, I can't be a true judge of that today. I know he'll give everything he has."
DEs Gaines Adams (ankle) and Greg White (shoulder) are expected to play as well.
Another interesting note from today's press conference: Gruden confirmed Luke McCown would be the backup to Garcia if Garcia can't play as expected. This comes one week after Gruden made an 11th hour decision to start Brian Griese at Atlanta.
"We've had reps for the backup and Luke has taken most of those," Gruden said "If need be, he'll be ready to go."
Gruden continues to defend last week's decision, saying again it was a call that was made on the fly. He said the Bucs hadn't prepared either of their backups adequately, which is why Gruden said he leaned on Griese's experience against the Falcons. This week, McCown supposedly got more snaps than last week, according to Gruden. But that's debatable based on Gruden's own convoluted statements during the past week.
In fact, McCown just acknowledged to my partner Rick Stroud that he had roughly the same number or fewer snaps this week than he did heading into Atlanta. So, if you're confused, join the club.