Wounded Bucs on the mend
Receiver Michael Clayton and running back Michael Pittman made it clear this morning they will be back in action after this weekend's bye, even if their grand plans for the bye week will be cut short by required injury rehab.
Pittman said it was a close call before the Arizona game. He got a call from the team trainer on the way to Raymond James Stadium informing Pittman that Gruden and the team's training staff had decided to hold him out. Though disappointed, not playing was the best move, Pittman said.
"I’m kind of glad I didn’t play," Pittman said. "I was out there today running in my cleats with no ankle brace, no tape, nothing. I’m just feeling really comfortable and confident in my ankle. So, I’m kind of glad I didn’t play because I wasn’t 100 percent going into the Arizona game. Maybe 90 percent. But every day I get better. I have this week and another whole week going into Atlanta, so I’ll be definitely ready to go."
As for Clayton, who also suffered an ankle injury and has missed most of the past three games, he feels ready to go and will be completely cleared to practice without limitations on Monday.
The one drawback for the pair: rehab means no vacation time. Pittman had big plans but those were quickly thwarted.
"Me and my wife were going to go to The Bahamas, but Coach (Gruden) said treatment is mandatory, so I’ll have to be here," Pittman said. "It’s all about the game. Gotta take it seriously."
(Above left: Michael Clayton. AP photo. Above right: Michael Pittman. Getty Images. Click to enlarge.)