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Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie TE Luke Stocker week-to-week with hip injury

Rookie tight end Luke Stocker is on crutches for Day 2 of training camp after injuring a hip on Day 1. He is a fourth-round pick from Tennessee.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Rookie tight end Luke Stocker is on crutches for Day 2 of training camp after injuring a hip on Day 1. He is a fourth-round pick from Tennessee.

TAMPA — Bucs rookie TE Luke Stocker was on crutches during Saturday's practice, saying he's week-to-week with a right hip injury sustained Friday.

The Bucs traded up 12 spots in the fourth round to select Stocker, a 6-foot-5, 270-pounder from Tennessee.

"It's a raw deal," he said of his injury.

Stocker said he jammed the hip at Friday's practice when he got caught in an awkward position and got twisted up.

"Just get some weight off of it and take it a week at a time and see if we can get it back feeling right," he said.

CADDY TALK: The Bucs still have interest in re-signing free agent running back Cadillac Williams, coach Raheem Morris indicated.

Williams, 29, the Bucs' first-round draft pick in 2005, has been a sentimental favorite and inspirational leader after overcoming surgeries to repair a torn patellar tendon in each knee.

His production fell off last season, when he averaged 2.5 yards per carry in nine starts. But after losing his starting tailback job to LeGarette Blount, who led all rookies with 1,007 yards rushing, Williams settled in as the third-down back. He also was integral in protecting QB Josh Freeman in blitz pick-up.

"You're talking about Cadillac, one of our leaders, a guy who brought a lot to us last year," Morris said. "I know his quarterback really likes him. I know we like him in our building. He gave us a bunch of great years of service. Hopefully we can get some more out of him. We'll just have to see. I don't want to put Mark (Dominik, general manager) into a corner."

SIDELINED: Signed free agents aren't permitted to practice until the 2011 NFL calendar begins Thursday. That requirement in the collective bargaining agreement has left the likes of G Davin Joseph, T Jeremy Trueblood and LB Quincy Black permitted to do only classroom work, such as attend meetings, with the team and working out off the premises.

"It's very different," Trueblood said. "You kind of feel like you're an injured guy or something. … You want to be on the field putting in the work with your friends."

About 10 affected Bucs went offsite Saturday to work out at a park.

WELCOME BACK: Considering Joseph wanted to stay in Tampa for the rest of his career, he was very happy to sign a seven-year, $52.5 million deal last week. And he was very pleased that good friend Trueblood (two years) and T James Lee (a restricted free agent) were brought back.

"I can't be happier," he said.

"(Free agency is) a tricky process, because you have to do what's best for your family and situation. It's not always what's best for what you want, where you want to be. I'm glad it worked out for me."

DRAFT BREEZE: The Bucs completed signing their eight-player draft class by signing sixth-round pick RB Allen Bradford. DE Michael Bennett, T Demar Dotson, DT Frank Okam also signed their tender offers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie TE Luke Stocker week-to-week with hip injury 07/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 30, 2011 9:27pm]
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