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Bucs' Garcia, Haye could miss preseason opener

LAKE BUENA VISTA — QB Jeff Garcia's right calf injury is not serious, but that doesn't mean it won't sideline him for a significant number of practices and possibly the preseason opener, the team said Friday.

Garcia strained his calf Thursday during a noncontact drill and later limped around the Wide World of Sports complex.

But the Bucs won't be rushing Garcia or DT Jovan Haye (groin) back into the lineup. Coach Jon Gruden said Haye likely will miss at least a week. That probably will sideline him for the preseason opener, at the Dolphins on Aug. 9.

In Garcia's absence, Luke McCown will get a significant number of reps, though Gruden stopped short of saying whether McCown or Brian Griese would be No. 1. "We haven't made any decisions on that," Gruden said.

S Sabby Piscitelli (knee) was held out and has missed most of the week. WR Joey Galloway (groin) is close to returning.

BACKUP PLANS: With T Luke Petitgout out indefinitely on the physically unable to perform list, the Bucs are making plans to play without him. That involves making sure the depth is adequate behind Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood.

Gruden said third-round pick and backup C Jeremy Zuttah will be available to play guard, enabling starters Arron Sears or Davin Joseph to move to tackle, if necessary. Anthony Davis, the starting left tackle in 2005 and '06, also could step in.

Penn, meanwhile, hopes to show improvement after starting 12 games in 2007 after Petitgout's season-ending knee injury. "I was okay in my pass protection," he said. "But I have to really get my run blocking and my knowledge of the game down. And I have to start finishing plays more. I'm going into my third year, but it's really like my second year. Last year was like my (rookie) year."

ASKEW WAITS: FB B.J. Askew is realistic about his chances of getting touches, even though Gruden and his assistants have indicated they would like to involve the veteran in the passing game. "I don't know, man. I look around and I see Earnest Graham looking good, I see Warrick Dunn looking good, Michael Bennett looking good, Ken Darby looking good," he said. "I'm here to be a fullback. I don't know how they're going to get it done, if they do (give me the ball). I learned a long time ago to take care of the things I can control. But at those few times I get it, I'm going to try to score."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3377.

Bucs' Garcia, Haye could miss preseason opener 08/01/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 2, 2008 11:04pm]
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