Garcia out, Griese in; Hovan, Galloway inactive
No one saw this coming.
QB Brian Griese will start today for the Bucs here at the Georgia Dome, with starter Jeff Garcia out with a calf injury and Luke McCown perhaps having lost the confidence of coach Jon Gruden.
After Garcia sustained the injury in practice last week, attention turned to McCown, who has been listed as the No. 2 quarterback for most of the season, including last week at Carolina. But Gruden pulled a surprise move in naming Griese the starter.
Griese will see his first action since leaving the lineup against the Broncos on Oct. 5 with an elbow injury. Griese was injured after a blind-side hit from CB Champ Bailey and said he has been trying to build up the strength in his elbow since. He described his ailment as tendonitis.
For McCown, the decision is likely very disheartening. He is in the final year of his contract and hoped to be in a position to have a shot at the starting job long term. Given that Griese and Garcia are both older veterans, the idea seemed plausible. But today's move sheds some light on where McCown likely stands in Gruden's quarterback hierarchy.
Also for the Bucs, NT Chris Hovan is out with a knee injury, though his linemate, DT Jovan Haye, will play.
And in yet another surprise move, WR Joey Galloway will be inactive today. Galloway, the team's leading receiver during the past three seasons, did not take a single snap in Monday night's loss at Carolina. He has expressed irritation on his radio show but has rebuffed efforts by reporters to interview him of late. We'll see whether today's development breaks some barriers.
With all this going on before the game, we should have plenty to talk about during it. By now, everyone knows the routine. Click on the comments tab below and I'll be there throughout the game to share my thoughts and answer your questions.