Bucs DE Jones Likely Sidelined For Season Opener

August 25 - The severity of Tampa Bay starting left defensive end Marcus Jones' left knee sprain isn't quite clear, but the Buccaneers said Sunday he'll likely miss the team's regular season opener against the New Orleans Saints on September 8. There's still a possibility Jones' injury could keep him sidelined even longer. Pewter Report has compiled a list of Tampa Bay's walking wounded.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still are trying to figure out the severity of left defensive end Marcus Jones' left knee sprain, which he suffered during the first quarter of the Pewter Pirates' game against Washington on Saturday night. For now, the Bucs have said Jones, who was carted off of the field after the injury occurred, likely will miss Tampa Bay's regular season opener against the New Orleans Saints, but there's a chance the Bucs' starting left end could be sidelined even longer.

"Marcus Jones, we're going to call that a left knee sprain," said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. "We're going to continue to do some MRI's and things of that nature. It looks like he's going to be out a couple of weeks. His status for the opener is very doubtful. It's unfortunate.

"We have had an MRI, but until we look at that further, we want to make sure we have all the information. We are going to call it a sprain right now, but it could be a little bit more than that. I don't believe it is a season-ending injury, at least from what I'm told. We are going to take a long, hard look at this injury and when I get further information I will pass it on to you guys."

Bucs fifth-year veteran DE Greg Spires, who saw extended playing time during the offseason while Jones recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, will start in Jones' place.

Pewter Report has compiled a list of injured Bucs players and the injuries they are nursing.

FB Jameel Cook (ankle sprain)
"Jameel Cook has a right knee and a left ankle sprain," said Gruden. "He will not practice tomorrow. His status for this game is questionable."

DT Buck Gurely (knee) and G Cosey Coleman (knee)
"Buck Gurley and Cosey Coleman are making progress," said Gruden. "There's a chance that one or both of these guys could be available for the opener vs. New Orleans."

MLB Shelton Quarles (sore calf)
"Shelton Quarles did not play last night," said Gruden. "He's got a calf strain. We'll hold him tomorrow on the practice field, but there's a good chance he'll be able to go in the next game."

Bucs RB Michael Pittman (ankle sprain)
"Michael Pittman probably will not practice tomorrow (Monday)," said Gruden. "We think he could play if we had a regular season game this week. His status will remain questionable until we get him right for the regular season."

WR Keyshawn Johnson (back bruise)
"Keyshawn Johnson has a low back bruise," said Gruden. "He will be limited on the practice field tomorrow. We expect him to play."

T Lomas Brown (knee sprain)
"Lomas Brown has a left knee sprain," said Gruden. "He got hurt in pre-game warm-up. He's questionable for tomorrow's practice. We expect Lomas to return this weekend."

WR Marquise Walker (ankle sprain)
"Marquise Walker sprained a left ankle last night," said Gruden. "He'll be questionable on the practice field, but we expect him to play."

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