Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Injured Dunn 'probably' shouldn't have played vs. Cowboys, Gruden says

Cowboys linebacker Bradie James slams into Warrick Dunn, who has a pinched back nerve, in the first quarter Sunday.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Cowboys linebacker Bradie James slams into Warrick Dunn, who has a pinched back nerve, in the first quarter Sunday.

TAMPA — The offseason decision to bring RB Warrick Dunn back to his NFL roots in Tampa Bay has proven to be one of the Bucs' savvier ones.

But opting to use Dunn against the Cowboys on Sunday despite a pinched nerve in his upper back probably won't qualify as a bright move, something even coach Jon Gruden admits.

"We probably shouldn't have allowed him to play," Gruden said Wednesday. "We choose not to use him much. But he is such a warrior. He has played this game for so long. But I agree. He wasn't himself on Sunday in Dallas. That's a big part of our offense."

The question now facing the team is whether Dunn will play Sunday at Kansas City. He was unable to practice Wednesday and appears to still be having problems. On Sunday, he said they included sharp pain shooting down his back and legs, which limited him to one rush and two receptions against Dallas for a total of 8 yards.

With Earnest Graham still taking a few snaps at fullback, where B.J. Askew remains sidelined with a hamstring tear, Dunn's health left the offense limited, to an extent.

"He's a big part of (the offense), especially with our fullback situation," Gruden said of Dunn.

If Dunn is sidelined against Kansas City, look for Michael Bennett to finally have a role. Gruden said Bennett's inactive status at Dallas was the result of the team having three running backs active: Dunn, Graham and return man Clifton Smith.

ROAD WOES: The Bucs are 4-0 at Raymond James Stadium but 1-3 on the road, losing three close games. Asked the difference between performances at home and away, Gruden said, "about 11 points," a reference to the combined margin of defeat in the three contests.

"They've been close games. It's not like we haven't played good football," Gruden said. "We've had chances to win all three of the games."

TEST DRIVE: Gruden expects today is when the team will test RB Cadillac Williams with limited contact in practice to see where he is physically.

Williams, who is on the physically unable to perform list because of the right knee he injured last season, began practicing last week. He is one week into a three-week evaluation period, after which the Bucs must activate him or place him on injured reserve.

"We'll try to turn him loose," Gruden said. "We'll try to get a little bit more amps out of him and see how he feels, see how he performs."

TOUGH ASSIGNMENT: Chiefs second-year QB Tyler Thigpen starts against Tampa Bay on Sunday, and who better to prepare him for the defense he will face than a former Tampa Bay assistant? Kansas City coach Herman Edwards was assistant head coach and defensive backs coach under then-coach Tony Dungy from 1996-2000, and he can't overstate the challenge Thigpen faces.

"He played well up there in New York," Edwards said of Thigpen, who was 25-of-36 for 280 yards and two TDs in a loss to the Jets on Sunday.

"The thing he's got to understand is the speed he's getting ready to play against with the Bucs defense and how fast they get to the ball. I think our whole team is going to have to understand how fast these guys play on defense."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Injured Dunn 'probably' shouldn't have played vs. Cowboys, Gruden says 10/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  2. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  3. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways on Wednesday's Rays-A's game

    The Heater

    Jake Faria wasn't going straight to Cooperstown at 500-0, so a day like Wednesday was going to happen, when he made too many mistakes. The challenge now is how he responds. Incidental casualty: His first loss in nine starts since getting engaged.

  5. Rory McIlroy at 20-1 for British Open? 'Good time to back me' (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — So artful are the usual gambling options in this creative nation that anyone can bet on some serious minutiae concerning the 146th British Open, which begins today. Which golfer will finish first among Thai players, among Indian players, among Swedes, among Danes, among Scandinavians, among …

    Rory McIlroy, center, chats with caddie JP Fitzgerald, right, and swing coach Michael Bannon during a practice round at Royal Birkdale. “I feel like it’s all coming together,” he says.