Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Greg Schiano: Bucs cornerback Eric Wright's availability is week to week

TAMPA — An Achilles injury CB Eric Wright suffered late last month continues to trouble the veteran.

Wright, 27, started the past three games, but missed most of the Nov. 11 San Diego game and left Sunday's game against Carolina in the third quarter after aggravating the injury.

The lingering injury calls into question Wright's ability to continue playing through it. The sixth-year pro said after Sunday's game that, "we might have to make a decision."

Wright didn't elaborate, but expressed frustration. Signed to a five-year, $37.5 million free agent deal in the offseason, Wright was expected to be relied on heavily for his experience. And that became even more true after CB Aqib Talib was traded to New England. That showed Sunday, when Wright was assigned to cover Panthers WR Steve Smith on both sides of the field in the first half, as opposed to staying in his right cornerback spot.

Coach Greg Schiano said Wright is week to week.

"You've got to see," Schiano said. "I've asked him every week, 'Do you think you'll be able to go?' 'Yeah, I want to play.' And it's been unfortunate that (the Achilles) got hit directly on it a couple times (Sunday). But he's toughing through it."

Other injury news appears encouraging for the Bucs. WR Tiquan Underwood, shaken up late in Sunday's game after a hit to the head, said he feels good, though Schiano said he will be monitored and will go through the appropriate tests. Schiano said T Donald Penn will be okay after temporarily leaving Sunday's game.

DEFENDING FREEMAN: QB Josh Freeman had just thrown a game-changing interception Sunday, and Panthers S Captain Munnerlyn was well on his way to the end zone.

But far from the action, there was a sideshow. DT Dwan Edwards, who had hit Freeman in the backfield and forced the bad throw, laid on top of Freeman. With Freeman and Edwards starting to tussle, Freeman got backup from C Ted Larsen — in the form of a bulldozer-like hit on Edwards.

Larsen drew a personal foul and automatic fine. But he said he had no regrets.

"You can't do that," Larsen said of Edwards. "You've just got to protect your quarterback all the time. You see your quarterback down there, obviously he can't get up, getting mugged. You've got to get him off."

GOOD CALL: Long-snapper Andrew Economos was in front of the cameras Monday for a key contribution in the comeback: winning the overtime coin toss. Economos called "tails" and won, giving the Bucs possession. Tampa Bay has won 10 of 11 coin flips this season.

"It seems like we've been getting every coin toss," TE Dallas Clark said. "I don't know if there's a study that we've been doing that can determine the coin toss like that."

TURKEY TIME: The offensive line will hold its sixth annual "Turkey Time with the O-Line" today, providing Thanksgiving meals to 700 underprivileged families from Tampa Bay between 5:30-7:30 p.m. at One Buc Place. The families were selected by local nonprofit organizations identified by United Way Suncoast.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected] Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected]

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