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Cadillac Williams, Sammie Stroughter added to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' injury woes

TAMPA —The Bucs got some disappointing news Friday.

RB Cadillac Williams and WR Sammie Stroughter were added to the injury report and listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets.

Williams and Stroughter "tweaked" their backs, coach Raheem Morris said. Stroughter's injury occurred Thursday; Williams' cropped up Friday.

Morris seemed optimistic about Stroughter but wasn't clear about the likelihood of Williams playing.

"I'll be all right," Stroughter said. "It's quite some time before the game, so I'll be prepared, hopefully. In my mind, I'm preparing myself to play."

Stroughter replaced Clifton Smith, who was put on injured reserve after suffering a second concussion this season, as the team's primary kick returner. If Stroughter were to be sidelined, the team might look to WR Yamon Figurs or RB Kareem Huggins, newly promoted from the practice squad.

At running back, Derrick Ward would carry the load if Williams is unable to play, but there would need to be a complementary back, too. That could be Huggins or even Earnest Graham, who is more available to play tailback now that FB Chris Pressley is settled in.

Elsewhere, WR Michael Clayton (knee) is listed as doubtful and did not practice this week. CB Derrick Roberson (groin) and DE Michael Bennett are also doubtful. LB Geno Hayes (hamstring) is questionable but appears likely to play.

NEWBIES: The Bucs-Jets game is a battle of first-year head coaches. But at 6-6 and one game behind the Patriots in the AFC East, and sporting the NFL's No. 1 rushing game and top passing defense, Jets rookie coach Rex Ryan is having more fun than Morris.

"I'm very fortunate. I got a lot of great coaches with me, a great support staff here. That's been critical," Ryan said. "You think you're prepared, all your life you work to get in this spot, and everybody says until you get in there, you can't appreciate it. There's a lot of truth to that.

"It's been a humbling experience. … Down the road, I think (Morris and I) will be much better than we are right now, because you can't buy experience."

JETS UPDATE

Edwards confident in Clemens at QB

Braylon Edwards and the rest of the Jets are confident QB Kellen Clemens can get the job done in place of injured Mark Sanchez (knee).

Clemens makes his first NFL start in nearly two years Sunday, but he has been in the Jets' system for four years and has a comfort level with a number of his receivers.

"He has a lot of experience with all of these guys, for the most part, with the exception of me, and he's done a good job," Edwards said. "He's a seasoned veteran, and he's a leader, and we think we can accomplish some things this Sunday."

Injuries: Along with Sanchez, CB Dwight Lowery (right ankle sprain) and OL Robert Turner (knee) are out. RG Alan Faneca and OL Wayne Hunter are questionable with illnesses.

Times wires

Cadillac Williams, Sammie Stroughter added to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' injury woes 12/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 11:07pm]
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