Injuries Mount; Bucs Place S Vance on IR

December 27 – Tampa Bay certainly roughed up the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, but they appear to be heading into this Saturday's game against the Baltimore Ravens a bit wounded. The Pewter Pirates have a total of 12 players in the infirmary, including rookie S John Howell, who suffered a right ankle sprain during Thursday's practice. Tampa Bay also placed S Eric Vance on the injured reserve on Thursday. Buccaneer Magazine has the latest injury report on both the Bucs and Ravens.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preparing to take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium. But while the majority of the players will run out of their tunnels at Ray-Jay, both teams will have their fair share of players limping.

Thursday was a very active day at One Buccaneer Place in terms of injuries. Bucs rookie S John Howell suffered a right ankle sprain during special teams drills at practice. Judging by how much pain he was in and how difficult it was for him to leave the field, Howell's chances of playing on Saturday night don't appear to be promising.

With Bucs SS John Lynch (Shoulder) and S David Gibson (Ankle) resting up during Thursday's practice, Tampa Bay was forced to play QB Joe Hamilton at the free safety position and CB Brian Kelly at strong safety on their scout team. Bucs CB Ronde Barber and FS Dexter Jackson also shared some playing time in those spots on Thursday.

"We think the guys are going to be fine," said Bucs head coach Tony Dungy. "John Lynch is kind of precautionary, a shoulder injury. David Gibson tried to go yesterday but we just feel like it would be better to rest him. There's a good chance he'll be able to go on Saturday."

The Bucs lost another casualty of war in their secondary when they placed S Eric Vance on the injured reserve on Thursday, which means he will not be eligible to play for the rest of Tampa Bay's 2001-2002 campaign.

While Vance provided depth at the safety position, he was making his impact on special teams, where he recorded six tackles this season.

Vance had been trying to overcome a knee injury he sustained weeks ago, but he was not progressing as quickly as Tampa Bay would have liked. With injuries mounting this week, the Bucs were forced to put Vance on the IR.

In other injury notes, Buccaneers DE Simeon Rice had to leave practice on Thursday due to illness, and WR Keyshawn Johnson was not able to attend practice as he was attending a funeral.

Buccaneer Magazine has compiled an injury list for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens.

BUCS-RAVENS INJURY REPORT:

KEY

OUT: 100 percent chance of not playing

DOUBTFUL: 25 percent chance of playing

QUESTIONABLE: 50 percent chance of playing

PROBABLE: 75 percent chance of playing.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS INJURY REPORT:

PROBABLE:

RB Warrick Dunn (Toe)

S David Gibson (Ankle)

SS John Lynch (Shoulder)

DT Warren Sapp (Shoulder)

C/G Todd Washington (Knee)

WR Reidel Anthony (Hamstring)

CB Ronde Barber (Hamstring)

G Cosey Coleman (Ankle)

QUESTIONABLE:

K Martin Gramatica (Hamstring)

WR/KR Frank Murphy (Ankle)

BALTIMORE RAVENS INJURY UPDATE:

PROBABLE:

G Bennie Anderson (Shoulder)

LB Brad Jackson (Lower Leg)

DB Gary Baxter (Leg)

RB Jason Brookins (Foot)

LS Joe Maese (Leg)

LB Peter Boulware (Ankle)

WR Qadry Ismail (Leg/Back)

DT Sam Adams (Knee)

TE Shannon Sharpe (Leg)

QUESTIONABLE

DE Rob Burnett (Lower Leg)

DT Tony Siragusa (Leg/Knee)

DOUBTFUL

CB James Trapp (Groin)


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