Brooks a game-time decision

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no closer to making a decision on LB Derrick Brooks, who missed a third straight day of practice with a hamstring injury. Will his streak of 193 consecutive starts come to an end on Sunday? Jon Gruden considered that on Friday morning.

Each week's Matthew Postins will analyze the top five issues facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that week. In this opening edition, Postins analyzes the decision to start Brian Griese at quarterback, the status of linebacker Derrick Brooks and the rehab of offensive guard Davin Joseph. Get the scoop right here.

Each week will take you inside the top matchup from that week's game. We're not talking about a thumbnail preview. We're going in-depth to show you how this matchup will affect the upcoming game. Today, we tell you which Buccaneers defender and which Atlanta Falcons offensive player will deeply impact Sunday's game. Get the scoop right here.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no closer to knowing if LB Derrick Brooks will start on Sunday against Atlanta.

But if he does, he'll do it without any practice. Brooks missed his third straight day of workouts on Friday with a lingering hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

If Brooks does not start, his streak of 193 straight starts will end. If he doesn't play, it will be the first time in his 14-year career that he hasn't played in a regular-season game.

Bucs head coach Jon Gruden considered that on Sunday, but said Brooks' fate was still up in the air.

"We would like him to practice but we've been through this before," Gruden said. "We'll give him every right to get ready and play and we'll make that determination Sunday at the stadium."

Gruden said that if Brooks could not play, the linebacker rotation was set. But he didn't divulge that piece of information.

"No disrespect to anybody, but we do have a couple things we've rehearsed in practice. If we have to put those wheels into motion, we will," Gruden said.

Many assume that if Brooks doesn't play, strong side linebacker Cato June will start on the weak side and that second-year pro Quincy Black will start in June's place.

Brooks, along with WR Maurice Stovall (back) are questionable for the game. LB Matt McCoy (groin) has practiced all week and should play on Sunday.

Falcons C Alex Stepanovich (back) is listed as questionable.

Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of

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