Bucs RG Coleman Out A Month With Knee Injury

August 13 – Tampa Bay starting right guard Cosey Coleman will be sidelined at least one month after suffering a torn meniscus during pregame warm-ups on Monday night. Coleman, who the Buccaneers drafted in the second round of the 2000 draft, will likely miss the season opener against the New Orleans Saints on September 8.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned Tuesday that starting right guard Cosey Coleman will be sidelined at least one month with a torn meniscus. The third-year guard out of the University of Tennessee suffered the knee injury during pregame warm-ups on Monday night. He was carted off of the football field and C/G Todd Washington started in place of Tampa Bay's 2000 second-round draft pick.

"When you lose Cosey Coleman and you see the guy getting carted off in pregame warm-ups, it feels like you swallowed an apple whole," said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. "That was a real downer. It's hard to show the resilience that you want to show right away. You just can't believe that one.

"I've seen guys get hurt celebrating after they make field goals, I've seen guys get hurt spiking balls, but I can't say that I've seen a guy get hurt in pregame warm-ups."

Coleman was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage in his knee on Tuesday in Miami. He is expected to miss at least one month, which could sideline him when Tampa Bay opens the regular season at home against the New Orleans Saints on September 8.

"We expect four weeks for him to be out," said Gruden. "Obviously, that's a blow to our football team. We hope to have Cosey back before then, but it's very unfortunate. I've never seen that happen to a man in pregame warm-ups. That's the extent of his injury."

Washington filled in admirably for Coleman on Monday night, which was evidenced by Tampa Bay's 183 yards (6.1 average) rushing against Miami. The Bucs have slated him as the starting right guard until Coleman returns to action. Before Coleman's injury, Washington was listed as the second-team center behind Jeff Christy, which means Bucs 2002 seventh-round draft choice Zach Quaccia now will serve as Christy's backup while Washington starts at right guard.

Coleman was just one of several Bucs offensive linemen to get banged up on Monday night. Bucs backup guard Kendell Mack suffered a torn MCL against Miami, which will sideline him indefinitely. Tampa Bay second-year guard Shane Grice currently is listed as questionable for Friday night's game against Jacksonville due to tendinitis in his ankle. Tampa Bay rookie guard Marcus Jenkins has missed almost the entire first two weeks of training camp with a sprained foot.

While the Buccaneers are high on second-year G/C Russ Hochstein, the team may soon add another guard to its roster due to its lack of depth at the offensive guard position..

"We're going to have to adjust," said Gruden. "There's no question we're going to have to look around, see who's available. We're going to have to, obviously, shuffle our lineup again this week. In fairness to Todd Washington, he's been injured the last four or five days, has missed some time. (He) was pressed into service last night as a starter at right guard against (Tim) Bowens, and those guys are good players. Obviously, right now Todd will be the right guard. We'll look and see if anyone's available who can come in and help us."


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