Bucs WR Jurevicius Excused From Practice Again

January 16 – UPDATED: Buccaneers wide receiver Joe Jurevicius missed practice again Thursday. Jurevicius has missed two consecutive days of practice for what the team called "personal reasons". The Bucs are hoping Jurevicius will return to practice Friday. PewterReport.com has the latest Bucs-Eagles injury report.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Joe Jurevicius missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. The team's No. 3 receiver has been excused from practice due to what the Bucs called "personal reasons".

"We excused Joe Jurevicius again for personal matters," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said after Thursday's practice. "We hope he's back tomorrow."

According to the Tampa Tribune, Jurevicius' wife, Meagan, gave birth to the couple's first child this week. The child, who was born one-month premature, is experiencing health complications.

If Jurevicius does not return to practice Friday, he'll have missed all three of the Bucs' full practices. But Gruden said he doesn't anticipate Jurevicius missing Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I hope not," Gruden said when asked if Jurevicius' two-day absence would affect his playing time Sunday. "I'm worried about Joe. I consider Joe a key member of this team. Right now he's got a personal matter that's weighing heavily on his heart and we're here to support him. We'll do everything we can to help him really rally and get ready to play."

If Jurevicius can't play Sunday, Bucs WR Karl Williams, who has taken all of the reps in Jurevicius' place this week, will fill the No. 3 receiver spot.

In other news, Bucs starting quarterback Brad Johnson was removed from the team's official injury report on Thursday. Johnson, who practiced without a helmet on Wednesday due to a forehead laceration he sustained during last Sunday's 31-6 win over San Francisco, was able to sport a helmet with no problem during Thursday's workout.

"He dressed out in full gear today and he's ready to go," Gruden said of Brad Johnson. "He's been very, very sharp and he's been a key to why we're here. He's going to be a key for us to win this game."

Bucs right guard Cosey Coleman (right ankle sprain) and cornerback Corey Ivy (right Achilles strain) were also all removed from the injury report.

But the Bucs added defensive tackles Warren Sapp (shoulder) and Chartric Darby (calf) to its injury report.

PewterReport.com has the latest Bucs-Eagles injury report.

TAMPA BAY:

DT Warren Sapp (left shoulder strain) – Probable
DT Chartric Darby (right calf strain) – Probable

PHILADELPHIA:
DE Derrick Burgess (foot) - Doubtful
LB Shawn Barber (knee) - Probable
S Blaine Bishop (groin) - Probable
QB Donovan McNabb (ankle) - Probable
WR Todd Pinkston (toe/finger) - Probable
RB Brian Westbrook (Wrist) - Probable


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