Coleman had arthroscopic surgery shortly after the injury occurred. While the Bucs were optimistic, it appeared Coleman wouldn't be back in time for Tampa Bay's regular season opener against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 12, but Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said Saturday that Coleman will start to see some action on Sunday.
"Cosey Coleman ran around a little bit today (Saturday)," said Gruden. "He'll be limited on the practice field tomorrow (Sunday), which is exciting for us.
"I think we are going to have to see him on the field the next couple of days before we can make that statement. I'd say right now he is questionable for the game (against New Orleans). But we are hoping he is going to be available to us."
The Buccaneers' offense has sorely missed Coleman's presence. They've been inconsistent and have lacked strength, especially on the right side, where backup C/G Todd Washington, who is also injured (knee), has started in place of Coleman and has struggled alongside second-year right tackle Kenyatta Walker.
"I feel like we have some good players there," Gruden said about his offensive line. "We think Jeff Christy is a very good player; he's had a good camp. Kerry Jenkins has been very solid. We have an injury right now at right guard. Todd Washington is somewhat new to that position, but he has progressively gotten better. We have struggled at left tackle the last couple of weeks. We need to play better there, that goes without saying. Roman Oben is getting better. Lomas Brown after the first play, I think the second play he was in there he played pretty solid last night in his first extended action. We need to improve the play within that group and we know that but we do feel like we've got some good players there. We need Cosey (Coleman) to get well and we've got to pick it up on the right side."
Tampa Bay must release 19 players by 4:00 p.m. Sunday in order to meet the NFL-mandated roster limit of 53. While Coleman won't be on the practice field until Monday, his health status will effect the future of several players on the bubble.
WHO'S IT GOING TO BE?
Much has been made of Tampa Bay's backup quarterback position and who the Bucs will decide to position where. Will Rob Johnson or Shaun King be the second-string quarterback? Well, Gruden is still in the process of making that decision.
"Again I like both of those guys (Rob Johnson and Shaun King," said Gruden. "I thought (quarterback) Brad (Johnson) had a good preseason. I thought he has been sharp throughout camp and I thought Rob (Johnson) played well last night. I thought Shaun (King) did some decent things. We'll announce that late in the week."
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Tampa Bay's win against Houston on Friday night wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Gruden was pleased with some units more than others and made it clear that his offense's play had to improve.
"I am very excited about our defense," Gruden said. "I am very pleased with our special teams, but I am very disappointed and somewhat surprised by a couple of things that I saw on offense. The penalties are inexcusable. Two weeks in a row now critical penalties in key situations have really hurt us."
WHO WILL MAKE THE 53-MAN ROSTER?
Tampa Bay hasn't made its decisions in terms of who will and will not make the team this season. But Gruden knows exactly what he's looking for.
"Potential and talent - all those great words are sometimes very misleading," Gruden said. "It's not always about keeping the best 53 in my opinion. It's about keeping the right 53. It's about guys who can go out there and when the ball is snapped, make an adjustment. Guys that are going to be there for you, that can compete on special teams if need be and can do the little things to help a team win. We're going to look hard to find the right 53."
Even after the Bucs announce its 53-man roster on Sunday, it could change throughout the season depending on what players become available.
"If somebody who comes available that we think can come in and help us, we'll make an adjustment to try and get the best 53 men fielded on this year's team," Gruden said.
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