TAMPA — Bucs RB Cadillac Williams won't play in the first two preseason games — tonight at Tennessee and next week at Jacksonville — coach Raheem Morris said Friday.
But that is no reason to fear the worst about a player whose injury history is well-documented.
Morris said Williams' surgically repaired left knee is fine and it was a coaching decision to sit Williams until the third preseason game, Aug. 27 against the Dolphins.
Williams, who suffered a patellar tendon tear in the 2008 finale in December — his second such injury in as many seasons; the first was on his right knee — has benefited from intense rehabilitation. He has participated in full-contact drills at training camp without limitations and looked sharp. But the punishment running backs take in games, even preseason contests, is quite different from that handed out in practice.
Thus the cautious approach.
"That's just me being soft," Morris said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. (Williams has) been fine. He's been great. He's been moving around. I just don't think Cadillac needs to get used to getting hit. I think he knows what it's about.
"He's doing so well, I just want to keep it (going)."
Morris is not concerned about whether Williams' lack of preseason activity will affect his regular-season performance, pointing to his limited preseason participation as a rookie in 2005.
That season Williams totaled 12 preseason carries. In the regular season he became the first rookie to begin with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games and set a rookie record with 434 rushing yards in his first three games. Williams had his cleats and gloves enshrined in a display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Who's in, out: Injuries will sideline several key players tonight: WRs Michael Clayton (hamstring), Antonio Bryant (knee) and Kelly Campbell (quadriceps), C Jeff Faine (groin), LB Angelo Crowell (hamstring), K Matt Bryant (hamstring) and P Josh Bidwell (hip).
Titans injury report: Coach Jeff Fisher said seven players will be out tonight: WRs Mark Jones (hamstring) and Chris Davis (hamstring), S Vincent Fuller (groin), LBs Stephen Tulloch (knee) and Colin Allred (high ankle sprain), and DL Jacob Ford (hamstring) and Jason Jones (foot).
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Where: One Buccaneer Place, Tampa
Admission: Free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. For tickets, register for the One Buc Club at buccaneers.com. The team will e-mail information on how to select and print tickets. Tickets will be available on practice days if all have not been distributed.
Et cetera: All practices are weather permitting and subject to change; for updates go to buccaneers.com.
Practice and game schedule
Today: at Titans, 8, Ch. 8
Monday: 2:45-4:35 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.; 4:55-7 p.m.
Wednesday: 2:30-4:20 p.m.
Aug. 22: at Jaguars, 7:30, Ch. 8
Aug. 27: vs. Dolphins, 8, Raymond James Stadium, Ch. 13
Sept. 4: vs. Texans, 7, Raymond James Stadium, Ch. 8