B. Johnson, McCardell Doubtful For Sunday's Game

October 21 – Tampa Bay's 20-10 loss to Philadelphia will probably sting a little longer than the team expected. The Bucs learned Monday morning that starting quarterback Brad Johnson will likely be sidelined Sunday with broken ribs. If Brad Johnson can't go against Carolina, Rob Johnson will get the start. In other injury news, Tampa Bay wide receiver Keenan McCardell will be listed as doubtful for Sunday's game with a fractured scapula.

Buccaneers starting quarterback Brad Johnson will likely be sidelined for Sunday's game at Carolina as a result of the fractured rib he suffered against Philadelphia on Sunday. The team will list him as doubtful for Sunday's game at Carolina, which means he'll have a 25 percent chance of playing, but Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said there's still a slight chance he could be ready play.

"Brad Johnson has a left rib fracture," said Gruden. "He'll be doubtful for this game. I don't want to say he's out, but it does look like he's doubtful for this game."

Brad Johnson suffered the rib injury on Tampa Bay's first offensive series of the game, but attempted to play through the pain until the fourth quarter when it became obvious that the injury was hindering Johnson's play.

"He got hurt early in the game, but he felt he could continue," said Gruden. "I think on the last interception on the outside breaking pattern, he just couldn't get much on it. I think the injury kind of caught up with him as the day went on. For that reason we made the switch."

Although Tampa Bay's offense had a woeful outing against Philadelphia while Brad Johnson was behind center, Gruden said he never considered making a quarterback change until he realized Brad Johnson's injury was hampering his play.

"It was a tight football game and Brad felt he could go," said Gruden. "I've always been a guy to stick with your guns and go with a quarterback that tells you he can play. Brad is a veteran player that knows how he feels. I have a lot of trust in him and I wouldn't have done anything different."

If Brad Johnson can't start against Carolina Sunday, backup QB Rob Johnson, who played most of the fourth quarter in Brad Johnson's place, will get his first start as a Buccaneer.

"If Brad can't go it looks like Rob will take all of the practice snaps on Wednesday," said Gruden. "If you asked Brad Johnson today he's tell you he's planning on playing. But if Brad can't go Rob will be the starting quarterback."

Gruden said he would be comfortable starting Rob Johnson, who has started 27 of the 36 games he's played in throughout his eight-year career.

"He doesn't get a whole lot of game work during the practice week," Gruden said of Rob Johnson. "He gets a faire amount of work on a Friday practice, but he's a guy that I think moved the club yesterday when he had his opportunities. He's a guy that's played in this league and has a good feel for our system. If he's asked to play, we expect him to play well."

In fact, Gruden suggested Rob Johnson's mobility might allow Tampa Bay's offense to open up its playbook a bit more.

"That's a possibility," Gruden said about being able to open up his playbook more with a more mobile quarterback. "He'll be a guy that maybe more apt to run if the opportunity presents itself. That's a little bit more his game. But Brad Johnson is a fine football player and he's played well for us. We're a 5-2 football team. A lot of that is because of Brad Johnson. We're concerned obviously about his health. At the same time, we'll be optimistic that if Rob Johnson is the guy, he'll play well for us."

Brad Johnson's injury could keep him sidelined for a few weeks, depending on how much pain he can tolerate.

"It could be anywhere from one-to-two weeks," Gruden said. "It's going to be pain threshold-type thing. How much can he take? He can take a lot, now, so I'm not going to paint a real bleak picture until I see Brad Johnson on the practice field Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for myself."

In other injury related news, Tampa Bay wide receiver Keenan McCardell will also be listed as doubtful for the team's game against Carolina. McCardell suffered a fractured scapula against Philadelphia.

"Keenan McCardell has a slight fracture of his left scapula," said Gruden. "We're going to list him as doubtful. I don't want to list him as out because he's played with injuries before."

Bucs WR Joe Jurevicius will start alongside WR Keyshawn Johnson if McCardell is unable to go against the Panthers.


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