Garcia a gametime decision
For all of Jeff Garcia's statements this week proclaiming himself ready to go Sunday, coach Jon Gruden didn't seem to share the same enthusiasm after the week's final practice today.
Gruden said Garcia's status would be evaluated after the team's arrival at Reliant Stadium in Houston, and only then will a decision be made on whether the veteran's back injury will allow him to play against the Texans.
"There’s a chance of (Garcia playing) but we’re going to, again, wait until we get to Houston, see how the weather is, see how he feels," Gruden said. "It’s a day-to-day operation right now, but he is getting better and I can only make the decision on Sunday when we get to the stadium."
Garcia maintained Friday he was ready, saying, "I feel good." But when asked whether he thought he would play, he deferred to Gruden. "You'll have to ask Coach on that one," he said.
Reading between the lines here, this looks a lot like a player who wants nothing more than to play and a coach who would rather be cautious and not play a quarterback who is not totally healthy. Surely, it was painful for Garcia to watch Luke McCown light it up last week in New Orleans, and the last thing the 37-year-old Garcia wants now is to sit out another week.
We'll probably not get much of a hint until game day, which is perhaps the way the Bucs want it. For what it's worth, Garcia was said to have participated on a limited basis in practice again on Friday, marking his third straight day of some involvement in practice. That's more than he was able to do last week, when he did not play.