Packers-Bucs notes

Here are some player notes from the Tampa Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers:

Green Bay
OLB Na'il Diggs expects to make his long-awaited season debut Sunday. Diggs felt he was ready to play against Cleveland after practicing all week. Sherman, though, felt Diggs needed more prep time for game action after he had been out since suffering a torn MCL in his left knee during training camp Aug. 8. Paris Lenon started for Diggs at the strong-side spot the first two games.

-- CB Joey Thomas made his first NFL start in place of fellow second-year player Ahmad Carroll. Thomas, however, may have cost himself a second straight start after he bit on an outside move and allowed Braylon Edwards to take off for an 80-yard touchdown on a slant route in the third quarter. Earlier in the game, Thomas was called for holding, though the penalty was declined. Thomas later was sidelined a short time after taking a blow to the head while making a tackle. Carroll, who was removed from the lineup after committing four penalties in the opener, didn't have one infraction Sunday in an extensive role off the bench and is under consideration to regain the starting spot opposite Al Harris.

-- SS Mark Roman's starting job also is in limbo after he whiffed on a diving tackle of tight end Steve Heiden, who scored a 62-yard touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game to essentially clinch the victory for the Browns. Earl Little, a veteran free-agent signee in the off-season, criticized Roman's gaffe after the game and is lobbying to be elevated to starter.

-- RG Will Whitticker may lose his starting spot after giving up a sack and a knockdown by the Browns' Orpheus Roye. The rookie also incurred his second and third false-start penalties of the season. Candidates to replace Whitticker are Grey Ruegamer or Mark Tauscher, who would move inside from his starting spot at right tackle and give way to Kevin Barry.

-- QB Brett Favre threw for three touchdowns against the Browns after the team didn't reach the end zone in the season opener at Detroit. However, Favre had two more passes intercepted, both in the opening three quarters when the offense mustered just seven points before staging a futile final-period comeback with 17 points.

-- QB Aaron Rodgers remained Favre's top backup for the second straight week, though this year's first-round draft pick has yet to appear in a game.

-- RB Ahman Green was held to 54 yards in 16 carries by the Browns, averaging a meager 3.4 yards per carry. Green, who had to remove himself from the game at one point in the third quarter because of his asthma, hasn't rushed for 100 yards in nine straight games, the longest drought of his five-plus years as the Packers' featured back.

-- RB Najeh Davenport outdid Green with a per-carry average of 4.5 yards Sunday but had only eight rushes for 36 yards. Davenport served as the primary kickoff returner and averaged 18 yards in three returns.

-- WR Donald Driver filled the No. 1 void created by Javon Walker's season-ending knee injury with a rousing effort Sunday. Driver had six receptions for a game-high 105 yards (17.5 average), highlighted by a nifty 42-yard, catch-and-run touchdown in the first series of the game. Driver has caught a pass in 50 straight games, the fourth-best streak in team history.

-- WR Robert Ferguson was promoted to the starting lineup in Javon Walker's absence but had only four catches for 47 yards. Ferguson hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Favre late in the game. However, he failed to break up a third-quarter pass intercepted by Gary Baxter in the back of the end zone and wasn't always sure with his route assignments.

-- WR Antonio Chatman got the nod over rookie Terrence Murphy as the third receiver. Chatman matched Ferguson with four receptions and totaled 71 yards (17.8 average). Chatman had the wind knocked out of him when he landed on the football after making a 22-yard reception in the final minute of the game. He returned to action two plays later. Chatman returned one punt for 9 yards.

-- PK Ryan Longwell made his only field-goal attempt, a 34-yarder in the fourth quarter. Longwell tied his own team record of 14 straight games with a field goal, originally attained spanning the 1997 and '98 seasons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-- QB Brian Griese is sixth in the NFC with a passer rating of 82.9. Griese's streak of at least one TD pass in his last 12 games was broken Sunday against the Bills.

-- QB Chris Simms was the backup to starter Brian Griese for the second straight week and did not see any action vs. the Bills.

-- RB Cadillac Williams has a strained muscle in his left foot, but is expected to play in Sunday's game at Green Bay. Williams leads the NFL in rushing and is the first rookie since Edgerrin James in '99 to begin his career with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.

-- RB Michael Pittman saw his first rushing attempts Sunday against the Bills, carrying seven times for 46 yards (6.6 avg.)

-- FB Mike Alstott scored his 50th career TD with a 1-yard run vs. the Bills.

-- WR Joey Galloway did not catch a pass Sunday against the Bills but still managed to draw double coverage and opened up the Bucs running game.

-- WR Michael Clayton is second in the NFL in third-down receptions with five for 107 yards.

-- WR Ike Hilliard has three catches for 19 yards, including one first down.

-- TE Alex Smith is third on the club in receptions with five catches for 36 yards and two TDs. Smith and TE Anthony Becht have been used to help ignite the Bucs' rushing attack.

-- PK Matt Bryant is perfect on field goal attempts of 41 and 40 yards this season.

-- DE Simeon Rice has a sack in each of the Bucs' first two games and has forced a fumble.

-- CB Brian Kelly is tied for the lead in the NFL with two INTs.

-- LB Shelton Quarles was credited with a sack and the Bucs' ninth safety in team history against the Bills.

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