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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Injuries force game-time decisions

TAMPA — The Bucs' rash of injuries will require some 11th-hour decisions Sunday.

The status of several injured players, including WR Joey Galloway (foot), WR Ike Hilliard (concussion) and RB Warrick Dunn (back), won't be decided until just before kickoff at Dallas, coach Jon Gruden said Friday.

FB B.J. Askew (hamstring) and WR Maurice Stovall (hamstring) are unlikely to play.

Dunn's injury, coupled with the need to address the lackluster return game, could prompt the Bucs to promote RB Clifton Smith from the practice squad. The rookie from Fresno State was proficient as a returner and at catching passes out of the backfield during extensive preseason action. He was among the players the Bucs evaluated as return candidates this week.

It's unclear who would be released from the 53-man active roster to make room if Smith is activated. If rookie Dexter Jackson is supplanted on kick and punt returns, as expected, he likely will be inactive Sunday.

TAPE DELAY: Gruden, who introduced the Rays' starting lineup during Fox's telecast of Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday, taped the intros at One Buc Place.

"That was neat," Gruden said. "Glad we won the game. I got a couple of calls (from) people who thought I was at the game. No. I was sitting here in the ol' dark room watching tape."

Gruden has a habit of watching film in his darkened corner office.

BIG TIME: Sunday's game against the Cowboys will be Fox's primary one at 1 p.m., meaning it will be shown to approximately 60 percent of the nation's households.

HIT IS JUST FINE: The NFL confirmed that Seattle LB Leroy Hill was not fined for his helmet-to-helmet collision that knocked Hilliard unconscious briefly Sunday and left him with a concussion. The league apparently agreed with Hilliard's assessment that it was just "a good NFL hit."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Injuries force game-time decisions 10/24/08 [Last modified: Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:02pm]
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