Jon Gruden: 'Injuries are mounting'
Addressing the media during Monday's news conference at One Buc Place, Jon Gruden said injuries "are mounting to say the least."
Bucs safety Jermaine Phillips broke his arm in Sunday's loss to the Falcons and is out for the season. Also banged on Sunday were Derrick Brooks (ribs) and Gaines Adams, adding to a growing list of Buc injuries.
"The injuries are a big concern for us. That's the number one concern," Gruden said. "We have to get some people well this week."
Jeff Garcia's strained calf is a significant concern. The injury caught the Bucs off guard heading into Sunday's game at Atlanta.
"We prepared Jeff to play. Neither Luke nor Brian got a heck of a lot of reps," Gruden said. "Neither one of those guys was really prepared to be the starter."
The Bucs will assess Jeff Garcia's injury over the next few days. Coach Gruden hopes to choose Sunday's starting quarterback by Wednesday.
"Hopefully Garcia in the next 48 hours feels a lot better," Gruden said. "We need him."
Asked to assess Brian Griese's performance against the Falcons, Gruden said "(Griese) went out there and did some excellent things." Though Gruden said inactivity contributed to Brian Griese's four sacks, he acknowledged Griese's job was hindered by costly penalties and poor field position.
Responding to a question about WR Joey Galloway's recent inactivity, Gruden said: "the versatility issues play into the problem. He's a split end. Antonio (Bryant) is a split end." Gruden also praised Antonio Bryant's play this season, declaring him the comeback player of the year.
Jon Gruden summed up the Bucs strategy as the playoffs approach: "All I know is we've got to win."