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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Spires finally set to return?



Defensive end Greg Spires might return this week after missing the past six games because of a calf injury.

But, according to him, Spires has been nearly recovered for a couple of weeks now. So, is his continued inactivity a result of the injury or an indication his status is fading?

Jon Gruden wouldn't go there when I broached the topic today. He just re-emphasized that the team thinks very highly of the 33-year-old Spires and will count on him when he is able to contribute. But Gruden did indicate that numbers do come into play when trying to decide which 47 players can be active on gameday.

Spires said he is better prepared to play this week, even though he felt he could have strapped it on the past couple games. With Patrick Chukwurah (hamstring) listed as doubtful this week, the hunch here is that Spires will be called upon. But as for what happens beyond this season, that's still to be determined. Spires' contract has two years remaining and calls for him to earn a combined $8-million in base salaries in 2008 and 2009.

With Greg White and Gaines Adams playing at such a high level, the Bucs may have some decisions to make at defensive end going forward. But I suppose having a surplus of good players at one position isn't the worst thing in the world.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:54pm]


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