Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Earnest Graham to start for Tampa Bay Buccaneers at fullback on Sunday against Carolina Panthers

TAMPA — RB Earnest Graham will get another chance to show his versatility Sunday when he starts at fullback for B.J. Askew, who will not play because of neck and back injuries sustained in a car accident this week.

"Earnest has done that role before. He's thrived in that role before,'' coach Raheem Morris said. ''We're going to go out this weekend and give him some more touches, more carries and more blocking opportunities."

The sixth-year player out of Florida filled in at fullback last season while Askew and Byron Storer were hurt.

BRYANT IMPRESSIVE: WR Antonio Bryant (knee) said his inability to practice has impacted his performance on Sundays. But after limited participation the past three days, Morris said Bryant "has looked the best he's looked since OTAs (organized team activities)."

DEBUT TIME? Could DE Kyle Moore make his NFL debut? The fourth-round pick from USC dealt with a groin injury at the start of the season, then needed knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

But Moore has fully participated in practice the past three days.

"Everyone else is probable and, realistically, they all could go," Morris said. "They all have played, they all practiced. They've all done things this week."

C Jeff Faine (triceps) and TE Jerramy Stevens (quads) participated fully in Friday's practice.

BIG-PLAY BACKS? The Bucs were counting on big plays out of their running game, and though they have four rushes of 20-plus yards, they're hoping for more. Faine's return could certainly help. "We have to get some big pops and we talked about it this week," Morris said. "We talked about getting back into the (secondary). I told our offensive line, if we are only getting 4 yards a pop, we probably don't need you guys. We can go out there, line up against a defender and have Josh Johnson hand the ball to Cadillac (Williams). He will probably get that, by himself.

"If you can get to the second level, you know what (Cadillac) can do when he gets to the second level. He can be dangerous. He can be tough on safeties, corners and backers. He can finish off some runs."

TURF'S UP: For those wondering how the turf looked at Raymond James Stadium during Thursday night's USF-Cincinnati game (the Tampa Sports Authority replaced the entire field after the U2 concert Saturday), TSA public information officer Barb Casey said they received no complaints from players or coaches. Though there were some ''grass clippings'' shown during the ESPN broadcast, Casey said the strips of turf are 48 inches wide, 1¾ inches thick and 40 feet long. "To have people suggest it's moving cracks me up," Casey said.

Earnest Graham to start for Tampa Bay Buccaneers at fullback on Sunday against Carolina Panthers 10/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 17, 2009 6:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Stroud: Bucs need to stop digging holes on road


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    HARVARD SQUARED: Tight end Cameron Brate catches a TD from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  2. Topkin: A busy offseason for Rays approaching as postseason winds down

    The Heater

    Tuesday's opening of the World Series means the end of the postseason is in sight and that the offseason maneuvering, which starts five days after the final out, can soon evolve from talk to action.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi smiles at Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer after Mauer broke up Odorizzi's no-hit bid with a single during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
  3. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville


    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  4. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  5. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.