Already denied the thrill of victory, Tampa Bay Bucs fans now will be spared the agony of the feet. The status of Bucs quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who was forced to leave Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys after aggravating a turf toe injury, remains unknown.
Coach Ray Perkins said Monday the Bucs will no longer release information about the woe of Testaverde's toe or any players' injuries until they have to file the report with the NFL on Wednesday.
"We're going to start a new policy, injured player-wise," Perkins said. "We're going to give you all the same thing we give the league on Wednesday and an updated view on Thursday. And if something happens in Thursday's practice or Friday, we'll give you that if there's anything significant."
Remember San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig and his Hum Babies? Well, now Perkins and the Bucs have their Mum Babies.
Neither Testaverde nor backup Chris Chandler was available for comment about the Bucs quarterback situation for the upcoming game at San Diego.
However, Perkins hinted in his post-game remarks Sunday that there may be a new movement afoot.
"(Vinny) hurt the same toe he hurt out there. Maybe we'll call it the Dallas toe from now on," Perkins said Sunday. "He'll be fine. If we have to, we'll cut the damn toe off."
And you thought all Testaverde had to worry about was throwing interceptions.
But there was no evidence that the Bucs plan to park Testaverde in the toe away zone for the remainder of the season.
In fact, Testaverde sounded optimistic about his injury following Sunday's loss.
"You know, it's hard to say how it is right now," Testaverde said. "It's still early. We've got a long week ahead. Hopefully, with the treatment, it'll be ready to go next weekend."
While the Bucs chose not to comment on injuries, tailback Gary Anderson said Monday he would not miss any practice this week due to a bruised calf muscle. Anderson did not play until late in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Cowboys.
"I'm fine," Anderson said. "You know, I got in a little bit (Sunday) to test my calf and it feels pretty good. I really didn't want to take the chance of getting it hurt again. I'm not laying off no more. I'll be okay."
Perkins said he did not want to play Anderson against the Cowboys and risk further injury, but the Bucs' lack of offensive punch prompted him to use the All-Pro running back.
"I was concerned about his leg and was hoping we didn't have to put him in the game, quite honestly," Perkins said. "I thought he might give us a spark that we'd been lacking."
Perkins was particularly disappointed with the play of the Bucs offense, which committed five turnovers and scored just one touchdown despite driving inside Dallas territory five times Sunday.
"We were sloppy offensively. In a lot of spots we were lucky," Perkins said. "We didn't do the things we need to do to get the ball in the end zone. And we had opportunities. It was just a malfunction here, a malfunction there.
"Even turning the ball over five times we still had a chance to win the game, amazingly enough. But we didn't get it done."
So how does Perkins sum up the hangover from Sunday's loss to the lowly Cowboys?
"Frustrating? Yes," Perkins said. "Discouraged? No.