Gruden said after practice that Sears suffered a sprained ankle during a pass protection drill. Sears had to be carted off the field and left the facility in Tampa on crutches.
Sears was coming off a solid performance against Jacksonville last Saturday in which he played the entire first half. Sears’ injury, if serious, could be a blow to an offensive line that was just developing some chemistry.
“We’ll make adjustments,” Gruden said of Sears. “What those are, we’re going to make those decisions if and when we have to. So I’m not going to speculate until I’ve found out exactly what’s wrong with him.”
Anthony Davis took over Sears’ role at left guard. Davis started 33 games for the Buccaneers at left tackle from 2005-06, but the signing of Luke Petitgout in the offseason forced him to change positions. He is considered a solid run blocker.
The Buccaneers dealt for linebacker Jerry Mackey of the New York Jets on Tuesday, an undrafted free agent from Syracuse who went through Tampa Bay’s rookie mini-camp before he was released.
Acquiring a linebacker became necessary after two of them — Antoine Cash and Sam Olajubutu — suffered season-ending injuries last weekend.
If the Bucs dealt a 2008 pick, then it would be the third draft pick they’ve given up this offseason. The Bucs dealt 2008 picks in earlier trades for Jake Plummer and Ryan Sims.
Gruden said the Buccaneers are exploring other options at that position, though he did not elaborate on what they might be.
Former Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter is a free agent.
“I can’t comment on that at this point, but we’re looking for players,” Gruden said when asked about Trotter.
Cornerback Phillip Buchanon and safety Tanard Jackson were also held out of practice. Buchanon has a cast on his hand, though his injury is unspecified. Jackson has a slight hamstring pull. Their statuses for Saturday are unclear.
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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors.