TAMPA — Though RB Cadillac Williams has returned to the active roster, he'll almost certainly be inactive against the Vikings on Sunday.
That was the word from coach Jon Gruden on Friday.
"I don't foresee (Williams) being a part of this game," Gruden said after the Bucs' final practice. "We'll see how the next 48 hours unfold. We seem to have had some injuries in the backfield. If everything goes as planned, I don't see him being active."
Williams came off the physically unable to perform list Wednesday after 14 months rehabilitating a severe right knee injury. But Earnest Graham (knee) looked good for the second straight day, and Warrick Dunn (back) appeared to be progressing, so the Bucs feel no need to rush Williams into action.
"I knew coming in that my chance of playing wasn't too likely," Williams said. "It's not a big surprise."
smith out: TE Alex Smith, who sprained an ankle catching the two-point conversion pass that sent the Nov. 2 game at Kansas City into overtime, did not practice this week and was not expected to play Sunday.
"It affects us, especially against a crowd like this," Gruden said. "We've been a two-tight-end, three-tight-end operation. It's been a big part of our passing game, certainly, and our pass protection. Our running game. And Alex Smith, as you know, as been the one tight end that's been our starter and been an every-down-type guy. So it's a big loss for us.
"During the bye week, it was hard to conjure a game plan because we didn't know if we would have him or have a back ready to go. … We've made some adjustments. We'll move on and do the best we can.
"You'll see (Jerramy Stevens) and John Gilmore, and you might see some different plays and different sets this week, too."