Sears on crutches after ankle sprain
Rookie left guard Arron Sears was on crutches Tuesday after sustaining what appeared to be a serious ankle sprain.
The second-round pick from Tenessee was injured during a pass protection period in practice. Sears was carted off the field and limped into the training facility with the help of trainer Todd Toriscelli. A few minutes later, he was loaded into a car and taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was expected to undergo x-rays.
The scene was eerily familiar to last pre-season when first-round pick Davin Joseph suffered a knee sprain just four days before the regular-season opener against Baltimore and missed the first three games.
Like Joseph, Sears has impressed coaches with his toughness and was slated to be the starter at left guard. Following the injury, Anthony Davis moved from left tackle to left guard.
""He sprained his ankle basically in a pass protection period,'' Gruden said. ""But again, I don't have any information until we get the word from the trainer.
""It's just disappointing. Again, I'm not going to say that he's out. He may be back here this afternoon, you never know. Last year, we lost Joseph, (Kenyatta) Walker and (Dan) Buenning, that was hard to swallow. We've lost quarterbacks, we've lost a lot of players here. We lost Simeon Rice, we lost a number of guys that went down. That's just part of this business. Again, I don't want to speculate and sound too negative and woe is us. There's a good chance he'll be okay.''
But Gruden is worried, and it was obvious when he walked the length of the practice field to check on Sears.
If Sears is unable to return, Davis or Buenning could replace him in the starting lineup. Davis has been impressive making the transition from tackle to guard this off-season.
""He's played left tackle, he's played left guard - that's hard to do in this league,'' Gruden said. ""I don't care what anybody says, not a lot of guys do that, move from left tackle to left guard in the course of a game, let alone practice. But he's made strides at guard and he's also worked hard at tackle. (Tackle) Donald Penn is emerging and has helped us look at Anthony at left guard and we're excited with the versatilty that Anthony's showing. He's gotten better, yet he has a long way to go.''
Davis, who just wants to find a way to remain in the lineup, says the transition from tackle to guard has not been that tough.
""It hasn't been hard at all,'' Davis said. ""Im a team guy and I want to do whatever I can do to help this team win. I accepted the challenge that (offensive line coach Bill) Muir put in front of me and I'm just trying to execute to the best of my ability.''