Bucs starter Josh McCown sees specialist; likely out vs. Steelers

Josh McCown, right, has damage in his right (throwing) thumb and saw a specialist, but it’s not known if he’ll need surgery.
Josh McCown, right, has damage in his right (throwing) thumb and saw a specialist, but it’s not known if he’ll need surgery.
Published Sept. 23, 2014

TAMPA — Bucs starting QB Josh McCown is expected to miss Sunday's game at Pittsburgh and could be out longer if surgery is required to repair a ligament in his right thumb.

McCown was examined by a hand specialist Monday and will be re-evaluated in a week or two to determine if surgery is needed. While McCown, 35, could play if surgery is avoided, it could still be several weeks before he returns to the playing field.

McCown watched as the Bucs returned to practice Monday, and the team hasn't officially ruled him out for Sunday, with the first injury report due Wednesday.

The Bucs are exploring other options as they seek a backup for likely starter Mike Glennon, the only healthy quarterback. The team brought in former Ohio State and Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor for a workout but did not immediately sign him.

Pryor threw for 1,798 yards and seven TDs and rushed for 576 with the Raiders last season. Short of signing him, the team would likely promote Mike Kafka from the practice squad to back up Glennon Sunday. McCown injured his thumb late in the second quarter of Thursday's 56-14 loss to Atlanta when his hand struck the helmet of DE Osi Umenyiora after a throw.

Injury update: RB Doug Martin (knee) showed no limitations during the 30-minute window practice was open to reporters. Martin has missed the past two games.

DT Gerald McCoy participated and had his broken left hand, sustained Sept. 14, heavily wrapped.

Coach Lovie Smith declined to talk about injuries, other than to say that some players could be back against the Steelers, while others were held out because the rainy Monday served as an extra day of practice.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), LB Mason Foster (shoulder) and DEs William Gholston (shoulder) and Michael Johnson (ankle) didn't participate.

"All you can do is continue to do your best to try to come back and be ready to help this team to victory," Johnson said. "We're going through that process."

WR Vincent Jackson showed no limitations, though Fox Sports reported that he sustained a slight wrist fracture in the loss to Atlanta. He had one wrist wrapped Monday.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, limited since his heart procedure four weeks ago, was not with the team, Smith said. He had been expected to return to work after missing Thursday's game.

Moving up: LB Danny Lansanah, whose interception for a touchdown marked the final points in Thursday's loss, was working with the first-team defense Monday at strongside linebacker, ahead of Jonathan Casillas, the first strongside player in the first three games.

Rivalry: McCoy has been having fun with teammates about their college teams. DB Keith Tandy, a West Virginia alum, sported a "Boomer Sooner" T-shirt on Monday as part of an annual wager with McCoy, whose Oklahoma team beat the Mountaineers 45-33 on Saturday.

This and that: The Bucs waived S KiMario McFadden from the practice squad and, according to reports in Louisiana, signed former Louisiana-Lafayette FB Ian Thompson, who was with the team in preseason camp. … They reached an injury settlement with CB Rashaan Melvin, who was cut last week after missing the first two games with an ankle injury. … Former Lakewood and Gators WR Louis Murphy, among the team's final preseason cuts, worked out for them Monday.

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Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman, @NFLstroud and @MBakerTBTimes.