Want to read Jon Gruden’s entire Friday press conference? Click here for this BucsBlitz.com premium feature.
Cornerback Brian Kelly, defensive end Patrick Chukwurah and wide receiver Ike Hilliard are all questionable heading into Sunday’s game against St. Louis, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden declared after practice on Friday.
Hilliard is the most recent injury, as the veteran sprained his ankle on the practice field on Thursday. He did not practice on Friday for the second straight day.
Losing Hilliard would be a blow. He started the first two games opposite Joey Galloway, and appeared to be the only receiver that could consistently produce opposite the speedster.
If Hilliard cannot play, Gruden said it would be either Michael Clayton or Maurice Stovall starting for Hilliard.
“We’ll run a lot of guys,” Gruden said. “We’ll play somebody. We’ll put an extra tight end in there. We’ll play with 11.”
Kelly seems the closest to playing on Sunday, as the cornerback said earlier this week that he’s responded well to rehab for a groin injury. He participated fully in practice on Thursday.
Chukwurah participated in Thursday’s workout in a limited fashion. Gruden did not update the media on how much Kelly and Chukwurah participated in Friday’s workout.
Phillip Buchanon would start for Kelly if the 10-year vet cannot play on Sunday.
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. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.