TAMPA — The Bucs may have had another reason to release injured T Luke Petitgout.
NFL senior vice president of public relations Greg Aiello said Tuesday Petitgout will have to serve a four-game suspension for violation of the league's steroid policy.
Petitgout, 32, had been on the active physically unable to perform list when he was released Saturday for failing to pass a physical.
He became a free agent and is able to sign with another team. But Aiello said teams were informed of Petitgout's suspension via Monday's daily personnel notice.
It's customary for the NFL to give a team advance notice before announcing a player's suspension.
Bucs coach Jon Gruden would not elaborate on the reason for Petitgout's release, other than to say he didn't recover from knee surgery.
"You'll have to check with (general manager) Bruce (Allen) and the league office with that," Gruden said Tuesday. "I've already addressed that. I do like Luke Petitgout a lot. That's about all I can say.
"We made the decision to do what we did for the reasons we said. Bruce and the league office have that information."
If Petitgout signs with another club, he will have to serve the four-game suspension.
Petitgout signed a three-year, $15.5-million contract with the Bucs in 2007 but played in just four games before a knee injury. He was placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the season.
The Bucs had hoped Petitgout would be ready by training camp and placed him on the PUP list along with injured RB Cadillac Williams. Petitgout was unable to make it back to the practice field before his release.
STORER STEPPING UP: Starting FB B.J. Askew (foot) is not expected to play Saturday night against the Jaguars. Thanks to the play of backup Byron Storer, the Bucs haven't missed Askew much in the preseason.
The 6-foot-1, 219-pound Storer helped pave the way for 114 rushing yards in the first half of Sunday night's 27-10 win over the Patriots. Storer also caught a touchdown from Luke McCown.
"I'll say this: Byron Storer, he's a hell of a fullback," Gruden said. "He really is. I'm really pleased with what he's doing. He's catching the ball and he's doing some excellent things as a blocker and as a football player."
TIGER ROARS: WR Joey Galloway, dubbed "White Tiger" by Gruden for his rare appearance at practice, received applause and a greeting from DB coach Raheem Morris, who shouted, "White Tiger!"
"I didn't see it," QB Jeff Garcia said. "Was that the White Tiger greeting? I know when he does make an appearance, it's somewhat special."
Rick Stroud can be reached at email@example.com.