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Injuries at running back position reduced Arrelious Benn's role in passing game

TAMPA — There were many lingering questions in the wake of the Bucs' 24-18 loss to the Bears on Sunday in London, and one of them was the light workload of WR Arrelious Benn.

The 2010 second-round pick finished without a catch for the first time in 19 games and was targeted just one time. Benn was off the field for much of the day, surprising given his big-play ability. Dezmon Briscoe instead took the majority of the reps at flanker, with Mike Williams, as usual, playing split end on the opposite side.

Benn explained the reasons for this: In three-wide receiver sets, which the team used for most of the game, Briscoe is considered the No. 1 flanker. Because of injuries to RB Earnest Graham and FB Erik Lorig, the Bucs had one healthy back (Kregg Lumpkin), so they were precluded from using their base package.

"You put the best guys on the field and try to come away with the win," Benn said. "We left a couple of plays out there on the field. But we have to regroup and take this bye week to take a rest and start all over again."

Briscoe had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown, targeted by QB Josh Freeman 10 times. Benn still leads the team in receiving average with 16.2 yards per reception. The team ranks 26th in yards per catch (6.3).

STEPPING UP: Coach Raheem Morris coached defensive backs in practice this week in place of secondary coach Jimmy Lake, who had surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

Morris said Lake toughed out last week's trip to London despite the injury, which he suffered while celebrating a touchdown Oct. 16 against the Saints.

"He definitely gets the ironman award of all time," Morris said. " … He coached the whole game."

TIME OFF: The team is off until Tuesday because of this week's bye. The NFL's new collective bargaining agreement mandates at least four consecutive days off for players during byes.

Injuries at running back position reduced Arrelious Benn's role in passing game 10/27/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2011 10:02pm]
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