TAMPA — The Bucs knew they’d have to move forward into their first matchup of the season against the Saints without Gerald McCoy, but now they will have to find a new way to run the ball as well.
Running back LaGarrette Blount will not be available to use on Sunday as he is out with an MCL sprain.
It was Tampa’s J.P. Peterson from WQYK-AM 1010 that reported the injury but he also added a footnote to the report that has raised a lot of concern and panic around Bucs Nation.
Peterson reported Blount will miss “several” weeks with an MCL sprain and with Raheem Morris and the Bucs keeping mum on the injury, this bit of news seems believable.
However when asked, the Bucs have said Blount (although they confirm Blount is out this week) is merely questionable for next week. There is no way to tell how Blount is going to be next week, but if he can play, he’ll play.
The question then becomes who will fill Blount’s massive shoes this Sunday in a crucial showdown with the Saints?
The answer is really up in the air with all the craftiness Morris likes to display, but for the time being it can be assumed that Earnest Graham is going to get the majority of the touches. However Kregg Lumpkin is there too and could be used in just about any package.
Tampa waived backup running back Allen Bradford today in a move that is a sort of head scratcher to Bucs fans. It is assumed Tampa will bring in another back since Tampa is running thin at the position especially so after the waiving of Bradford.
Graham does get (and deserve) the upper hand in the running back succession due to his longevity and his catching ablilty. He is the back who comes in whenever the Bucs run their two minute offense as well.
Blount’s absence is a huge blow to the Bucs offense but it’s nowhere near a fatal one. Graham can get the job done and to enough of an extent that Josh Freeman can get the passing game going.
Also, if any of the Saints previous 5 games have been any indication of how their defense will play on Monday then Graham can fill Blount’s shoes without too much of a set-back.