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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Contrite Wright returns from suspension: 'It hurt me to let the team down'



The four-game suspension cornerback Eric Wright served cost him $1.8-million and guarantees on his salary for next season. But the Bucs also paid a price with four losses the team suffered during his absence.

Wright, who returned from the suspension Monday for Adderall use, a banned stimulant, was contrite about letting his team down. The free agent cornerback signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract in March.

"Yeah, absolutely, I apologize to the team as well as the organization and the Glazer family,'' Wright said. "It hurt me a lot to let the team down. It's just an unfortunate situation and I'm looking forward to moving forward from here.''

Wright said he used the time off to work out and rehab an Achilles injury that had prevented him from playing against the Atlanta Falcons prior to serving his suspension. The Bucs have the worst-ranked pass defense in the league and have struggled at the cornerback position.

In the 10 games that Wright started, the Bucs were 6-4 but are not 6-9 heading into Sunday's game against the Falcons. 

"It was extremely difficult,'' Wright said, "I mean being at home, being away from my teammates and my coaches. You work all off-season and all preseason to get to this point and to have to sit down and sit out for four games really hurt.''

Wright was confident he would win his appeal of the suspension for Adderall, a stimulant typically used in the treatment of ADHD. But he said the 'exemption letter,' was never sent in. Wright did not comment on whether he has a prescription for Adderall now or if he still plans to use the drug.

"The situation is over, I served my four-game suspension and I'm happy to be back on the team and having and opportunity to play in this game,'' Wright said.

Bucs coach Greg Schiano has not said whether he plans to play Wright in the regular-season finale at Atlanta Sunday.

" I feel a lot better,'' Wright said. "I've still got to go out there and finish the week of practice and I'm just looking forward to getting better every day and seeing how it goes on Sunday.

"Until somebody tells me otherwise, I'm a Tampa bay Buccaneer. So I say that with a lot of pride and it's an honor to put on that jersey and I'm just going to continue to work with that mindset."

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:44pm]


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