Bucs News And Notes: Friday

December 27 – Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp returned to practice Friday and the Bucs expect him to play on Sunday night against Chicago. The Bears will likely start third-string quarterback Henry Burris against the Bucs. In others news, Bucs playoff tickets will go on sale the Tuesday before Tampa Bay's home playoff game. PewterReport.com compiled a notebook with news and notes from One Buccaneer Place along with the latest Bucs-Bears injury report.

SAPP RETURNS TO PRACTICE:
Tampa Bay defensive under tackle Warren Sapp returned to practice Friday after being sidelined two consecutive practices with a knee sprain. While he is still listed as questionable on the team's official injury report, which is listed below, Sapp is expected to start against Chicago on Sunday night.

In other injury news, Tampa Bay backup quarterback Rob Johnson still is expected to start in place of QB Brad Johnson (back) against Chicago.

But the Bears will be without its starting quarterback, too. In fact, they'll be without their backup quarterback.

Neither Chicago starting QB Jim Miller (injured reserve) nor backup QB Chris Chandler (concussion) will play against Tampa Bay on Sunday night. Bears third-string quarterback Henry Burris will start against the Bucs. Burris has seen action in five games and he's completed 11-fo-32 passes for 129 yards and he's thrown three touchdowns and one interception.

PewterReport.com has listed the Bucs-Bears injury report below.

BUCS-BEARS INJURY REPORT:

INJURY KEY
Probable (Player has a 75 percent chance of playing)
Questionable (Player has a 50 percent chance of playing)
Doubtful (Player has a 25 percent chance of playing)
Out (Player will not play)

TAMPA BAY

QB Brad Johnson (right lower back contusion) – Questionable
DT Warren Sapp (left knee sprain) - Questionable
LB Shelton Quarles (right ankle sprain) – Probable
C Jeff Christy (right knee sprain) - Probable


CHICAGO

DE Alex Brown (calf) – Questionable
TE John Davis (back) – Out
LB Bryan Knight (knee) – Out
DT Christian Peter (calf) – Out
DB R.W. McQuarters (hip) – Probable
S Damon Moore (leg) – Questionable
DE John Stamper (shoulder) – Probable
DT Keith Traylor (leg) – Questionable
QB Chris Chandler (head) - Doubtful

PLAYOFF TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE THE TUESDAY BEFORE BUCS' HOME PLAYOFF GAME:
While Tampa Bay is still hoping to receive a bye week in the first-round of the playoffs, the Bucs, who have already won the 2002 NFC South Division title, will host a home playoff game no matter what happens from here on out.

The Buccaneers announced Friday that playoff tickets for upcoming home playoff game(s) at Raymond James Stadium will go on sale the Tuesday prior to the playoff contest(s).

So, if the Bucs win on Sunday night against Chicago and the Packers lose to the Jets on Sunday afternoon, the Pewter Pirates would receive a first-round bye and host a NFC Divisional Playoff Game the weekend of January 11-12. Tickets for that game would go on sale on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Tickets would be available only through Ticketmaster, starting at 10:00 a.m. ET.

If Green Bay defeats the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon or if Tampa Bay loses on Sunday night, the Bucs would host a first-round playoff game the weekend of Jan. 4-5. Tickets for that game could also be purchased only through Ticketmaster on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

While Philadelphia and Green Bay are the only two teams competing for homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, the possibility of the NFC Championship Game being played in Tampa on Sunday, Jan. 19 still exists. If that occurs, tickets for that game will go on sale on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Fans can purchase tickets at Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone or by visiting Ticketmaster.com.


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