Jurevicius Lost and Rookie Draft Selection Impress

Rookie wide receiver Michael Clayton was a marked man last April in the NFL Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had pegged the receiver from LSU as their top priority with the 15th selection in the draft. While other big-name players remained on the draft-board, Tampa Bay never wavered from their game-plan, selecting what they believe will be their wide receiver of the future.

The Buccaneers are probably very glad right about now that they selected Clayton in the first round. Why? Starting wide receiver Keenan McCardell remains a contract holdout, backup receiver Charles Lee (hamstring) is injured, and veteran wide-out Joe Jurevicius will have surgery for a herniated disk. He was still rehabbing a knee injury which cost the veteran a significant portion of the 2003 season.

In Buccaneers camp, the top healthy receivers are Clayton and veteran Joey Galloway. Newcomers D'Wayne Bates and Bill Schroeder will have to see extra duty with the numbers at receiver dropping.

The club did get some good news today when starting FB Mike Alstott (neck surgery) practiced for the first time in pads since last season. The key for Alstott will be how his body reacts to the pounding the day after.

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