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)

Eric Wright soon to be suspended; Bucs say he's also hurt

The Bucs say cornerback Eric Wright, left, playing Thursday against the Vikings, hurt his Achilles in that game. Former Largo High star Leonard Johnson could get more time.

Associated Press

The Bucs say cornerback Eric Wright, left, playing Thursday against the Vikings, hurt his Achilles in that game. Former Largo High star Leonard Johnson could get more time.

TAMPA — Eric Wright spent practice Monday pedaling a stationary bicycle, watching his teammates prepare for their upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders. Likewise, the Bucs weren't in a position to move forward with their soon-to-be suspended cornerback.

Coach Greg Schiano opened his news conference by saying league rules prohibit the team from commenting on a story that Wright is facing a four-game league suspension for using Adderall.

Schiano said Wright could not practice because of an Achilles injury suffered in Thursday night's 36-17 win at Minnesota.

Fox NFL analyst Jay Glazer reported Sunday that Wright is facing a four-game suspension after testing positive for Adderall, a stimulant that is considered a performance-enhancing drug unless prescribed by a physician.

Wright would become the second Bucs cornerback to be suspended for Adderall. Aqib Talib is scheduled to return from his four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on PEDs Nov. 5; he said he had taken an Adderall. Since neither the league nor the Bucs will comment on the case, it's likely Wright will appeal.

"I really can't discuss it and neither can Eric," Schiano said at the start of his news conference Monday. "I'm not trying to be evasive at all, but that's what comes down from the league and that's where I'm going to be.

"You saw he was on the bike. He has an Achilles (injury) coming out of the game that is a little bit of a concern. Didn't know about it after the game, really didn't know about it until recently. But I think the injury, he'll be okay, but I can't predict."

Schiano said the Bucs' depth at cornerback could be tested against the Raiders. Wright's likely replacement would be former Largo High star Leonard Johnson, who started Thursday as the nickel corner and recorded an interception.

"I just think he competed," Schiano said. "The stage doesn't get a lot bigger in a regular season than a national television game against a team that's doing well offensively. And Leonard, it wasn't too big for him. I think that's the best thing. He competed, he made some plays. He had an interception. He really, (another possible) one, take a look at it, it's up for discussion, too. He had two really big-time plays and then other ones that go unnoticed, the ones where he does his job."

Johnson, an undrafted rookie from Iowa State, said he tried not to put too much pressure on himself Thursday and just competed.

"I just went out and had fun," Johnson said. "I tried to do everything I was asked to do. Being able to start at the nickel and the dime was something I was looking forward to doing all week. I didn't put too much pressure on myself during the week about going out there with the first team. I just let it all hang out and just wanted to be natural."

The Bucs have other options if Wright is out Sunday. Brandon McDonald, who was replaced by Johnson, had been the nickel corner until he sprained his ankle against the Saints. The Bucs also could move safety Ronde Barber to cornerback and replace him at safety with Ahmad Black.

"I'm taking it one day at a time," Johnson said. "The whole Eric Wright situation will work itself out, the Achilles or whatever else is going on. Right now, I'm just trying to focus on getting better.''

Neither the Bucs nor the NFL will comment on Wright. The league also moved the trade deadline back two days until Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy so it's possible no information on Wright's case would be forthcoming for several days.

With both starting cornerbacks likely suspended for the same drug, Schiano was asked if he believed the team had a problem with Adderall use.

"No," Schiano said, ending the news conference.

Rick Stroud can be reached at and can be heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620. View his blog at Follow him on Twitter at @NFLStroud.

Bucs at Raiders

4 p.m. Sunday, Coliseum, Oakland

TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM

Eric Wright soon to be suspended; Bucs say he's also hurt 10/29/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 29, 2012 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tim Beckham jumps into right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s arms after his three-run home run in the second inning.
  2. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay


    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  3. ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.
  4. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.