TAMPA — The Bucs offense was dealt its first major blow before it really got going.
After suffering an unspecified left foot injury early in Sunday's loss to the Lions, slot WR Sammie Stroughter will have what is being called minor surgery today. He will miss several weeks.
Coach Raheem Morris delivered the news Monday but was adamant Stroughter will be back. "He's not out for the season," Morris said. "He's (out) a few weeks."
Stroughter, who has 55 receptions in 25 games the past two seasons, has been a fixture in the slot since his arrival in 2009.
Preston Parker will step into Stroughter's role, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. After Stroughter left Sunday's game, Parker matched his entire rookie season production with four catches for 44 yards. He had four catches for 42 yards in 2010.
"Preston Parker is a guy we thought stepped up (Sunday) and played pretty well coming into that role," Olson said.
Meanwhile, DT Brian Price aggravated his hamstring, this after spending last season on injured reserve because of issues related to his hamstrings and pelvis. Morris said the team considers Price day to day. Price was not available for comment.
MORRIS OWNS UP: After reports Sunday that the NFL is considering levying a fine against the Bucs for contact with players during the lockout, Morris owned up Monday, admitting to calling players during that time.
"I called Aqib (Talib) when he got (arrested)," Morris said. "I called Kellen (Winslow) when he had a baby."
Morris said he has not been notified by the league of punishment. He said the league checked his phone records to establish whether violations had taken place. "I heard the rumors about the fine and all that type of stuff, but I haven't gotten anything from anybody," he said.
During the lockout, coaches were ordered in no uncertain terms not to contact players, who were locked in a fierce labor battle with the league.
Morris and general manager Mark Dominik suggested the league began investigating after the website Joebucsfan.com published an entry quoting a Morris interview on 620-AM.
During the interview, Morris was asked about some of his players who had been playing football with kids in the Jefferson High area. Morris said, "They tell me about it all the time," and "I talk to them all the time." But Morris made no reference to when those conversations took place and never suggested they occurred during the lockout.
The blog entry was headlined, "Is Raheem Inappropriately Talking to Players?"
GRAHAM'S THE GUY: When the Bucs find themselves in short-yardage situations, Olson said, RB Earnest Graham will continue to be the go-to back. Graham was stopped on a fourth-and-1 play Sunday, but Olson isn't deterred. "In the four years that I've been here, he's never not gotten a short-yardage situation," he said of Graham. "That's part of the reason we use him there. LeGarrette (Blount) is a solid player, but he's been hit and miss, and we have to have a lot more hit with (Graham)."
Concession issues again: Fans lit up the Tampa radio call-in shows with complaints about concessionaire Levy Restaurants running out of ice and water Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The heat index registered 102 degrees at kickoff. Levy offered all food and drink items at half price after similar problems in the preseason opener against the Patriots last month.
Eva Yusa, director of communications for Levy Restaurants, said they welcome feedback from fans. The Bucs had no comment Monday.
Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.