Kirby suffered a season-ending Achilles injury Monday morning when he was running an out route to the sideline. Kirby's foot appeared to get caught in the grass at Pepin-Rood Stadium when he went to cut to the sideline. Although tests are still being done on Kirby, head coach Tony Dungy and his staff fear the worst.
"It's still a little premature to say," said Dungy. "It is an Achilles tendon injury and if it's as we fear, then he probably will be out for the season."
With Pro Bowl FB Mike Alstott suffering a hamstring pull last week, he will be out for what could be the entire preseason. Kirby had plans of taking advantage of the A-Train's absence, but that all changed when he dropped to the ground this morning.
Although Dungy has lost his Pro Bowl fullback and his lead blocking fullback, he is confident the injuries will give sixth-round pick FB Jameel Cook and RB/FB Rabih Abdullah a chance to shine.
"This just means that Rabih and Jameel will got a lot more work right now," said Dungy. "It's to their benefit. We are trying to find out about that position, so they'll just get extended playing time."
As of right now, Dungy does not feel the need to bring in another fullback, but keep this in mind. Dungy said the same exact thing about a punter after Mark Royals suffered an MCL sprain last week. One day later, Tampa Bay signed P Jason Malecki.
"We haven't really looked at it yet," said Dungy. "Obviously, if we get another injury there, we'd be down to one fullback and that would be tough. Right now, the plan is to just use those two guys. The plan is to stay as we are right now."
Both Abdullah and Cook will see equal time in training camp and preseason, but even though Abdullah is naturally a running back, he should have an advantage over the rookie Cook.
"I think the reps will be split up pretty evenly," said Dungy.
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