Friday, Nov. 16
Final injury report, 6:34 p.m.
Here is the injury report for Friday — Bucs: Out — DE Greg Spires (calf); Questionable — FB B.J. Askew (ankle), LB Quincy Black (hamstring), DE Patrick Chukwurah (shoulder), WR Michael Clayton (ankle), RB Earnest Graham (ankle), RB Michael Pittman (ankle), T Jeremy Trueblood (shoulder); Probable — WR Ike Hilliard (calf), TE Alex Smith (ankle). Falcons: Doubtful — WR Joe Horn (hamstring); Probable — QB Byron Leftwich (ankle), DT Trey Lewis (shoulder), RB Jerious Norwood (ankle), T Todd Weiner (knee).
Falcons QB mess, 9:19 a.m.
If you ask me, Bobby Petrino is completely miscalculating by drawing out his quarterback situation this weekend.
He made it clear yesterday that he wouldn't make a decision between Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich until game time. Leftwich has been limited in practice all week. Harrington has led the Falcons to two straight wins.
If Petrino wants to commit to Leftwith the rest of this season, that's fine. He all but has by saying that Leftwich will start when he's healthy. But is he healthy enough to start? That's the rub.
If this is a big game on Sunday — and Petrino said it is — then it's incumbent on the coach to make sure his team is well prepared. I find it hard to believe the Falcons can be completely prepared for this game when they won't know which quarterback will start until after pre-game warm-ups. Petrino should do himself a favor and take the heat off by starting Harrington — and telling everyone on Friday that's what he's doing. It will give him — and his team — some peace of mind.
Falcons an intriguing team, 9:18 a.m.
And not because of Michael Vick. The combination of improved fourth-quarter play, an increased reliance on RB Warrick Dunn and a resurgent defense has the Falcons believing they can win their third in a row this weekend. Read more about why the Falcons are playing so well in my premium piece at Bucsblitz.com.
Lehr's comment, 9:16 a.m.
Matt Lehr did not comment to Tampa-area reporters regarding a Dallas-based report of his connection to a trainer who recently pleaded guilty in a steroids conspiracy. But his attorney did comment to a Dallas TV station. Read the text of the attorney's comment at cbs11tv.com.
You already like Jeff Garcia …, 9:13 a.m.
Here's another reason. The NFL has seen 52 starting quarterbacks already this season — and the Bucs have used only one. Find out just how lucky the Buccaneers are to have the durable Garcia in this article at Tampabay.com.
Line of contention, 9:11 a.m.
The defensive line has just 16 sacks through nine games and no one's sure what the problem is. Kevin Carter has a theory — a lack of continuity thanks to injuries and heavy rotation of players. Read more at TBO.com.
Watch on the web, 9:07 a.m.
You knew it would come to this at some point. Verizon has worked out a deal with the NFL Network to show their games on their computer. You have to be a Verizon subscriber and have a broadband connection, but it's a nice solution if you want to watch that Colts-Falcons game on Thanksgiving night and don't get NFLN (If you a Brighthouse Networks subscriber in the Tampa area, you don't). Eventually, I would have to think you could watch any NFL game over your computer for a fee. That's already the case in Europe. Read more at TBO.com.
This Penn isn't full yet, 9:05 a.m.
Left tackle Donald Penn said this will his toughest test since facing Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney in his first NFL start. The task? Slowing down Atlanta's top end, John Abraham. According to both Penn and offensive line coach Bill Muir, this emergency starter is making progress. Read Ira Kaufman's piece at TBO.com.