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Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Sears misses practice with injury

TAMPA — Bucs G Arron Sears missed practice Thursday after sustaining what might be a mild concussion during workouts a day earlier.

Coach Jon Gruden doesn't regard the injury as serious, though it's unclear whether Sears will be ready for Sunday's game at Kansas City.

"I don't believe he is (in danger of missing the game), but I am one of those coaches (who) believes you've got to practice to play," Gruden said. "I don't want to discount how important I think practice is, but we think he's going to be okay. We'll let you know (today). But we've got a number of guys (who) have been idle, and I think it affects the way you play. It's a tough business, man, especially when you don't practice."

Sears was listed on the injury report Wednesday as hurting his back in Sunday's loss at Dallas. If Sears doesn't play, Jeremy Zuttah will fill in.

Bruised ground game: The Bucs have had problems running the ball lately because of injuries that have disrupted their rhythm. They brought in former Buc Jameel Cook to take over for sidelined fullbacks Byron Storer and B.J. Askew, but Cook — who last played for the Bucs in 2005 — is still getting up to speed. Meanwhile, RB Warrick Dunn has been playing with a pinched nerve in his back and was kept out of practice Thursday. Earnest Graham remains the starter, but Dunn's injury raises the possibility that RB Michael Bennett could play Sunday against his former team.

Survey says ... : Last year, the players union commissioned the Wharton Sports Business Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania to evaluate head coaches. The results were detailed last week in a story by William C. Rhoden of the New York Times — and Gruden didn't fare well in the popularity phase. The active coaches whom players indicated they would most want to play for were, in order: Colts' Tony Dungy, Bears' Lovie Smith, Patriots' Bill Belichick, Chiefs' Herman Edwards and Steelers' Mike Tomlin (a nice nod to former Bucs coach Dungy and three of his former assistants). The coaches whom players would least like to play for: Giants' Tom Coughlin, Jets' Eric Mangini, Gruden, former Falcon Bobby Petrino and — in a show of versatility — Belichick.

Miscellany: Tiki Barber, the former Giants running back-turned-Today Show correspondent, was at One Buc Place taping background segments on Dunn, who will be interviewed Tuesday in New York about his new book, Running for My Life: My Life in the Game of Football and Beyond. … RB Cadillac Williams continued his long road back from a knee injury last year by simulating Chiefs RB Larry Johnson in practice.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Sears misses practice with injury 10/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 6:11pm]

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