Jurevicius Could Miss Sunday's Game

January 17 – Tampa Bay wide receiver Joe Jurevicius was excused from practice for the third consecutive day on Friday. Jurevicius did not join the Buccaneers on its flight to Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, but he might rejoin his team on Saturday. Jurevicius' wife, Meagan, gave birth to the couple's first child earlier this week, but the child, who was born one month premature, is experiencing health complications.

Buccaneers wide receiver Joe Jurevicius was excused from practice for the third straight day on Friday and he may not play in the NFC Championship Game Sunday.

Jurevicius' wife, Meagan, gave birth to the couple's first child earlier this week, but the child, who was born approximately one month premature, is experiencing health complications.

Jurevicius did not join the Bucs on its charter flight to Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, but head coach Jon Gruden did not rule out the possibility of Jurevicius playing in Sunday's game against the Eagles.

"We'll see what happens here in the next 24 hours," Gruden said after Friday's practice. "If things work out, he'll fly down some time Saturday and meet us Saturday evening. We think he's going to play but at the same time we respect his situation and we're supporting him."

If he is able to rejoin his teammates in Philadelphia for the game against the Eagles, Gruden doesn't think Jurevicius, who was able to attend team meetings and film study throughout the week, would be hindered by his three-day absence.

"He didn't practice but he has been in our building," said Gruden. "He was here yesterday and he picked up the information and took part in the meetings. If Joe can play, if he's able to get away to play, he's going to do everything within his power to do that. But he's prepared mentally and physically we know he's ready to go."

Bucs WR Karl Williams took all of Jurevicius' reps during practice this week, If Jurevicius is unable to play Sunday, Williams will fill his spot as the team's No. 3 receiver against the Eagles.

INJURY UPDATE:
There were no changes made to Tampa Bay's injury report, but Buccaneers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp (shoulder strain) returned to practice Friday after a one-day hiatus.

"He feels good, he worked today," Gruden said of Sapp. "Warren's ready to go. I think he realizes, as does every member of this football team, that now is when we need the greatness of Warren Sapp and those around him."

TAMPA BAY:

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

DE/DT Ellis Wyms (ankle sprain) - 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

FREEZING FORECAST IN PHILLY:
According to Weather.com, the forecast for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia is calling 30-degree temperatures at kickoff and there will be a slight chance of snow flurries during the game, which starts at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The Bucs received a preview to that type of frigid weather when a cold front passed through Tampa on Friday morning. The Bucs practiced Friday morning in temperatures in the mid-50s and up to 20-mph winds.

"Yeah, it was great," Gruden said of his team's practice in the cold weather. "It kind of previewed how it's going to be Sunday afternoon. I appreciate that, weathermen. I was listening last night and I don't know if I expected this, but it was good."


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