TAMPA — RB LeGarrette Blount has been itching to get on the field, having been with the Bucs for about three weeks, and he thinks his growing comfort level with the offense will soon allow that.
"It's coming along well," he said Friday. "I probably won't play this week, but it's all coming together. I'm definitely starting to put things together and understand my assignments. Hopefully by the end of the bye week, I think I'll be good to go."
Blount was claimed off waivers from the Titans just days before the opener and has been scrambling to familiarize himself with the Bucs' playbook ever since. Tampa Bay's coaches haven't ruled out the possibility of him contributing this season. His absorption during the next couple of weeks will help determine whether that happens. The team has a bye next week, giving him extra time before the Oct. 10 game at Cincinnati.
"The bye week gives me all of next week and then all of the week after that," said the rookie out of Oregon, who's participating mostly on the scout team. "That's a lot of time to cover a lot of stuff before we play again.
"I'm ready to get out there. Trust me."
INJURY UPDATE: C Jeff Faine returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time this week. Faine has a calf injury and is questionable but has said he was held out as a precaution and plans to play Sunday against the Steelers.
RB Kareem Huggins, out last week because of a groin strain, was limited in practice and is questionable. LB Niko Koutouvides (ankle) and CB Myron Lewis (knee) did not practice and are questionable. Koutouvides did not play last week at Carolina.
QB Josh Freeman (thumb), RB Cadillac Williams (hamstring) and TE Kellen Winslow all practiced and are probable.
JOB OPENING: The indefinite suspension of S Tanard Jackson for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy a second time means the Bucs have an open roster spot. For a player to be eligible against the Steelers, he would have to be added to the 53-man roster today.
"We've got those options," coach Raheem Morris said. "We've got a lot of guys on our practice squad, we've got people we've scouted in the market out there. Something could happen or nothing could happen."