Caddy almost certain to be activated
Barring an unforseen change of heart, the Bucs have every intention of putting Cadillac Williams on the active roster Wednesday.
Williams, who suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee nearly 14 months ago, participated in contact drills with pads on Monday. Coach Jon Gruden said he has no reason to believe Williams won't be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
"We staged a couple drills for Carnell Williams to get hit. He responded to it. It's exciting,'' Gruden said. "I've said that for a long time. It's almost like Christmas is here. And Christmas is Wednesday, I hope.
"We'll see how he feels. We'll talk to the trainers and the medical people. If my eyes don't deceive me, I think he has a chance to be a player this year and that would be exciting.'
Williams return could come at a good time for the Bucs. Earnest Graham has a knee injury and could miss Sunday's game against Minnesota. Warrick Dunn has a pinched nerve in his back and did not play at Kansas City.
"This guy is a hell of a back. This guy is a very good back,'' Gruden said of Williams, the Rookie of the Year in 2005. "We have film to prove that. We want him to be a big part of our organization. So if he's healthy, he's going to play here.
"Earnest (Graham) has done a heck of a job. We do have some injuries. Warrick (Dunn) has been out for the last two games. If we could ever get Warrick Dunn and Earnest Graham and Carnell Williams, that would be exciting for us.''
Gruden cautioned not to expect Williams to jump into the role of feature back as soon as he returns.
"Obviously, this is a process. We'll take it day by day,'' Gruden said. "As we gather more information and get evidence that he's 100 percent back, obviously, his role will be determined by that.''
To make room for Williams, the Bucs will have to release a player or move one to injured reserve. One candidate could be Michael Bennett, who has played sparingly this season even in the wake of injuries to Dunn and Graham.
"That's why they hire these general managers to make these tough decisions,'' Gruden said. "I'll just say this: it'll be a tough call for us.''