Rookie left guard Arron Sears has a sprained ankle, according to Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden. The head coach announced the extent of the injury during his Monday press conference.
Sunday’s NFC Wild Card playoff game with the New York Giants is nearly a week away, but Gruden expressed optimism that Sears — who has started all 16 regular-season games — will be able to play.
“At this point we expect him to play,” Gruden said.
Sears left Sunday’s game on the third play. He walked to the sideline, but was carted off the field and taken to the locker room for evaluation. His right ankle was in a protective cast after the game.
“I think there was some concern. They took him in and evaluated him,” Gruden said. “We’ll update you on Wednesday on his status.”
Gruden said there were no other injuries to report after Sunday’s game.
He also said he expects FB B.J. Askew to play on Sunday. Askew missed the past three games with ankle injury he played through for about a month.
Of the eight players deemed inactive for Sunday’s game, only two were significantly injured — Askew and WR Ike Hilliard, who has been nursing a knee injury. The rest of the players listed as questionable on the final injury report last Friday all played.
One thing was certain after talking about Sears — Gruden was tired of injury talk.
“We’ve had (injury) concerns all year,” Gruden said. “Everybody at this point in time has had their share of injuries. But I’m done talking about the analysis of the last two weeks and the injury status. We’ll go out and play and we’ll get what we deserve.”
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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.