TAMPA — DT Brian Price has been playing with hip inflammation and will miss at least several games as doctors determine whether rest will improve his condition.
Surgery is not required now, said his agent, Chuck Price (no relation).
The Bucs' second-round draft pick this year out of UCLA has been battling injuries from the time he arrived at One Buc Place.
A recurring sore hamstring was believed to have been the main problem. But an MRI exam this week revealed that the pain is the result of inflammation and irritation near the hip. No structural damage has been detected.
"He's been able to play with it," Chuck Price said.
Because the Bucs have 10 games left after Sunday's meeting with the Rams, team officials hope Price will return in a few weeks.
Friday, coach Raheem Morris ruled Price out Sunday. As the third defensive tackle, behind Gerald McCoy and Roy Miller, Price was expected to play extensively. His role for now will be filled by veteran Ryan Sims, who has played sporadically.
Tuesday, the Bucs traded with Kansas City for Alex Magee, putting him into the mix at defensive tackle during his first two practices. Morris said Magee won't play Sunday, but it doesn't appear it will be long before he does.
"He certainly came in and had two really good practices, and he certainly opened up some eyes and did some really good things," Morris said.
OTHER INJURIES: The offensive line is banged up, too, especially starting LG Keydrick Vincent, who missed another practice Friday with back spasms. He is expected to be a game-time decision, leaving the Bucs particularly thin up front.
Backup G Jeremy Zuttah already is starting at center for a few weeks in place of Jeff Faine (quadriceps muscle). The Bucs will be forced to turn to newcomer Ted Larsen if Vincent is sidelined Sunday.
Larsen, a Palm Harbor native and rookie from North Carolina State, spent the preseason with the Patriots before being waived and claimed by the Bucs. He has been a center throughout his career but has been working at guard since being picked up by New England.
"I played center in college," Larsen said. Guard "is what I played most of the preseason."
FB Earnest Graham (hamstring) was unable to practice after showing improvement a day earlier. He was listed as questionable.
The Bucs worked reserve RB Kregg Lumpkin at fullback this week in the event Graham misses the game. The Bucs also have been using converted DE Erik Lorig as a fullback.
Other players listed as questionable but expected to play: LB Barrett Ruud (toe) and G Davin Joseph (knee).
Backup CB Elbert Mack (heel) is doubtful.
Rams injuries: Ruled out are CB Justin King (hamstring), DT Clifton Ryan (migraines) and S Darian Stewart (hamstring). WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring) is doubtful. He didn't practice Friday.
Questionable are CB Ron Bartell (thigh) and LB Chris Chamberlain (toe). Bartell returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday but was limited. Chamberlain, out since suffering a turf toe injury in the season opener, got through the week of practice without incident. He said he expected to play.
Probable are LB Na'il Diggs (knee), CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring), CB Jerome Murphy (hamstring), DT Darell Scott (ankle) and LB David Vobora (hamstring).
Information from Times wires and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was used in this report.