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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib misses practice because of hamstring injury

TAMPA — CB Aqib Talib did not practice Thursday due to a lingering hamstring injury, putting his status for Sunday's game in Carolina further in doubt.

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said the hamstring has bothered Talib for about five weeks, and it caused him to leave last week's game against Atlanta late in the fourth quarter. Morris said Talib, who was limited in Wednesday's practice, is day to day.

"We'll just have to see," Morris said. "He's been like that for a while. Hopefully he can suck it up and get out there and play for us. ... You can't have progress when you have an injury like a hamstring. It just kind of lingers and whether you can deal with it or not, it just happens to be."

Talib did a great job shutting down Panthers WR Steve Smith in the team's previous matchup this season, holding him to just one catch and a season-low 4 yards. If Talib can't go, CB Derrick Roberson and CB Elbert Mack will get more playing time in Talib's spot.

Veteran CB Ronde Barber could also be the one who matches up with Smith. "Ronde accepts challenges well, so we'll just have to see," Morris said.

In other injury news, WR Michael Clayton (knee) and DL Michael Bennett (toe) did not practice, DT Roy Miller (ankle) and DE Stylez White (hand) were limited and T Donald Penn (knee), WR Maurice Stovall (thigh) TE Kellen Winslow (knee) were back to full participation. RB Cadillac Williams was no longer on the injury report after being limited Wednesday (coach's decision).

TRUEBLOOD FINED: RT Jeremy Trueblood is among the Bucs' most emotional players, and he displayed as much during an outburst in Sunday's game at Atlanta.

After being violently pulled off a pile by a defender, Trueblood launched into a rant. Problem is, he took his helmet off while still on the field. As a result, Trueblood was assessed the standard $7,500 fine.

HEART FOR HOFSTRA: Hofstra University, the small Long Island private school that Morris attended, announced Thursday it would discontinue its football program.

The news was a shock to Morris, who still communicated with people at the school and counts his former coach as one of his role models.

"It's a sad state of affairs," Morris said. "It was weird because it kind of happened out of nowhere. So, I don't really have a reaction right now other than I'm just saddened for all my people that are there. I just saw two of their coaches down here recruiting yesterday. Obviously it was a shock for their football program and their football family."

Morris is one of the school's more famous former players, but there have been other NFL success stories.

"Me and Marques Colston and Wayne Chrebet and Lance Schulters will have to get together and have a memorial service," Morris said. "When you build a program from a Division III program to — at the time — a national Division I-AA powerhouse, to see it drop football with no (warning), I don't know what the problem was."

Times staff writer Stephen Holder contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib misses practice because of hamstring injury 12/03/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:11pm]
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