Crabtree has "significant" ankle sprain
Bucs coach Greg Schiano has said they may have to go to a tight end "by committee" this season
But they might be without part of that group as TE Tom Crabtree suffered a "significant ankle sprain" during Thursday's exhibition finale, Schiano said.
Crabtree, who signed a two-year, $1.6 million deal in the offseason, injured the right ankle during the first quarter against the Redskins while serving as a lead blocking fullback, and was carted off. The x-rays were negative, but ankle sprains - specifically high ankle sprains - aren't easy to quickly bounce back from.
Crabtree, a strong blocker, was expected to combine with TEs Luke Stocker and third-string Nate Byham for time at the tight end spot. Stocker and Byham have combined for just 19 receptions last year, so it's a relatively thin position.
On Byham: "Nate is definitely in the equation. There's some other guys in there as well."
In other injury news:
RB Peyton Hillis (ankle) is sore, but should be okay, Schiano said. Rookie RB Mike James suffered an eye injury, and his status is more uncertain. "I'm not sure of yet where that lies," Schiano said. "It's not your typical, you don’t hear of that very often so i think we need to delve deeper into that."
Schiano said it was too early to tell whether the injuries will impact the players' ability to be ready for Week 1 against the Jets.