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)

Injuries to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting receivers creating opportunities for others

Receiver Antonio Bryant watches afternoon practice on crutches after having knee surgery on Tuesday.


Receiver Antonio Bryant watches afternoon practice on crutches after having knee surgery on Tuesday.

TAMPA — With top WRs Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton out with injuries, there's a big opportunity for other receivers to make an early case for making the roster.

Brian Clark, Sammie Stroughter and Maurice Stovall, along with Cortez Hankton and Mario Urrutia, have shown flashes in camp by making plays. They'll get an even bigger showcase in Saturday's preseason opener at Tennessee, when the Bucs staff can learn more about them as they get reps with the first and second teams.

"It's going to give every receiver on this roster a legitimate shot of saying, 'Hey, I've got footage, I've got game film and it's going to give us a chance to evaluate and make a decision,' " GM Mark Dominik said.

Clark, a former Chamberlain High standout, came off the practice squad last year and played in nine games (one reception, 12 yards). "I'm approaching it the way I've approached preseason games the last four years, which is to show why I belong; that's my sole job," he said. "I'm better now because I have a little more experience about the emotional ups and downs of the NFL."

Coach Raheem Morris has praised Stroughter, a rookie seventh-round pick, often in camp, and Stroughter can't wait for the game.

"I'm foaming at the mouth," Stroughter said. "(Clayton and Bryant) set the example so high. We always have to be willing and ready to get in there."

Stovall, a 2006 third-round pick who has been snakebitten by injuries, said all he's focusing on is the present, and he wants to "prove to the coaches and my teammates and the fans out there that I belong in Tampa Bay."

STEP BACK: K Matt Bryant said he had an MRI exam on his troubling right hamstring Tuesday, and although there apparently isn't any serious problem, he's still frustrated about how long the injury has lasted.

Bryant limped off the field during the morning practice after aggravating the hamstring kicking field goals. He had missed several practices because of the injury and isn't sure when he'll return to practice this week, other than saying, "It's not an overnight thing."

Bryant is in a battle for his job after the Bucs signed Mike Nugent in the spring. If Bryant can't make it back for Saturday, Nugent would get an opportunity to put some distance between himself and Bryant.

"That's the roughest part about this, is that it's boring just standing there doing nothing," Bryant said. "I want to be out there, I want to kick, I want to do something. It's frustrating."

BIG IMPACT: DT Roy Miller, the third-round pick from Texas, was impressive again during a live red zone scrimmage. Morris said Miller has played well enough to be considered the third tackle behind starters Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims.

"If I was making a decision based on OTA (organized team activities) days and if I was making a decision based on these couple weeks of camp, you'd have to say Roy Miller is our third tackle right now and he's going to be in the rotation,'' Morris said. "And I hope it's true. Not knocking the other guys, but he's really stepped up and he's really played well.''

ON TRACK: Morris said Bryant had successful knee surgery Tuesday and "everything is right on schedule … three weeks." Bryant attended the afternoon practice while on crutches.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Injuries to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting receivers creating opportunities for others 08/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  3. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you


    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  4. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American


    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.