Earnest Graham was placed on IR with a torn Achilles tendon, effectively ending his 2011 season

Buccaneers Earnest Graham Out for Season; Placed on IR

TAMPA — The losses from Sunday keep rolling in for the Buccaneers. One of the big stories in the London game was running back Earnest Graham going down without being hit. Today news came down that Graham has a torn Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of this season.

This is huge news because with Graham on IR and starter LeGarrette Blount out with a tear to his MCL, the Buccaneers are extremely thin at running back with Kregg Lumpkin being the only healthy back on roster. Another ripple effect from Graham’s trip to IR is that Tampa now has no backup fullback and their current fullback Erik Lorig sustained an injury Sunday.

Lorig is expected to be ready for the Bucs next game but it’s just one of tough spots Tampa is now in.

The Buccaneers are heading into their bye week which relieves some of the pressure of finding a short-term answer to their running back depth issue, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

If there is one thing that Mark Dominik is good at it’s combing the waiver wires and practice squads for gems. But never have the Bucs had to fill such a vital role on such short notice. Tampa expects LeGarrette Blount to be recovered in time for the Bucs game against the Saints on the flip side of their bye week.

However, this is a crippling blow to the Bucs who need to be in tip-top shape in their Round 2 bout in New Orleans. The game is just as big as it was when they met a week ago with first place on the line. Tampa’s loss and the Saint’s blow-out win against the Colts gives BNew Orleans the chips back and Tampa hungry to get them.

Graham’s injury is proof that no one within the Bucs organization will be able to take it easy during this bye week.

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