Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy strains right shoulder but should be okay

Trainers place ice on Gerald McCoy’s shoulder. Coach Raheem Morris and GM Mark Dominik say McCoy should be okay.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Trainers place ice on Gerald McCoy’s shoulder. Coach Raheem Morris and GM Mark Dominik say McCoy should be okay.

TAMPA — DT Gerald McCoy strained his right rotator cuff during practice Friday, but he might have cheated the hangman.

McCoy, who immediately took off his pads and had ice applied to his shoulder, is day-to-day, according to coach Raheem Morris.

In fact, Morris said had there been a game on Sunday, "I think he'd be strapping up. I'm excited about that. I wouldn't worry about that."

GM Mark Dominik was even more reassuring that the injury wasn't serious.

"It's nothing scary," Dominik said. "We just decided to get him out of there."

McCoy, the third overall pick in last year's draft, already has been stung by the injury bug. He tore his left biceps muscle in December in a game at Washington and essentially missed the final month of his rookie year, finishing with three sacks.

WELCOME BACK: For the first time this training camp, the team had all 90 players in uniform and practicing in pads, a list that included G Davin Joseph and T Jeremy Trueblood.

Players who were not under contract until the official start of the league year Thursday could not practice before then. The team had to wait even longer because of a one-hour weather delay.

"It felt really good to play football again," Joseph said. "I was anxious to put the pads on and the weather kind of put a halt to all that, but we got it going and it felt good. Rustiness was expected, but we've got a lot of time to improve."

Offensive line coach Pat Morris said the layoff probably showed veterans the importance of training camp.

"The step you made without any pads on is a little bit different and the movement is faster," Pat Morris said. "Even your pass set or your blocking, and the timing needs work. So I think they're rusty, and they'll be the first ones to tell you that. I always thought there was a 'pad shape,' especially with the linemen."

MORE PLAYING TIME FOR STARTERS: Because of the lockout and players not being able to practice until this week, Morris said he plans to have the team's starters participate in more snaps during preseason games.

"You usually go into that first game and you play about 12 or 15 snaps or so," Morris said. "You might want to get into the 20s right now, that's usually a quarter and a half. Somewhere around there and just let these guys play a little bit because they missed a little bit of stuff. Then maybe that second game, probably the same thing. And then that third game is the simulation game where you go into the half and maybe come out the tunnel or not, you make that decision that day. And then the fourth game is usually when the bottom of your roster is formed and you give the guys a chance to make your roster.

"I'm trying to push the snap count up a little bit to give them more live bullets."

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy strains right shoulder but should be okay 08/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 6, 2011 12:08am]

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