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News of the day

The Bucs held a short workout Friday at Tampa Stadium. DT Mark Wheeler, C Jim Pyne, DE Keith Powe and FB Rudy Harris will be inactive against Minnesota. Wheeler, who started all 26 games he appeared in during his first two pro seasons, has lost his starting nose tackle job to former Vikings free agent Brad Culpepper. But Wheeler has played in all seven games this season.

Slow starter

Rookie tailback Errict Rhett, who had his most productive game last week against the 49ers, could start Sunday.

In San Francisco, Rhett averaged 5.1 yards, gaining 46 yards on nine attempts and a touchdown.

"He's playing more than anybody else right now," coach Sam Wyche said. "Yeah, there's a chance he could start this week or sometime soon. But we're getting good play out of Vince Workman and Errict Rhett, so that part is working out good."

Catching on

Receiver Lawrence Dawsey had a shaky debut last week.

Dawsey dropped three passes and appeared fearful of being hit while making his return to the lineup in more than a year after recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

He finished with four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.

"I hope we saw the last (three) and that's all it was," Wyche said. "He made a couple catches later in the game, but that was uncharacteristic for him and he'd been catching the ball good in workouts. He was probably trying to do everything letter perfect and that's when you make a mistake sometimes."

The wounded

LB Jeff Brady (elbow), S Thomas Everett (shoulder/foot) and T Tim Irwin (elbow/back) are questionable.

_ RICK STROUD

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