Bucs keep door open for Cadillac's return

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Buccaneers made the smartest move possible this afternoon when they placed running back Cadillac Williams on the physically unable to perform list.

That doesn't settle the question of whether Williams will play in 2008 but, more importantly, it keeps Tampa Bay's options open.

Williams will have to sit out the first six weeks of the season. After that, a three-week window opens in which Williams can begin practicing. Although coach Jon Gruden has been raving about how Williams is progressing, it would have been rushing things to bring him back for the start of the season.

Williams suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 4 last season and that injury usually takes more than a year to fully heal. The extra time will give Williams between six and nine weeks to make more progress.

There's still a very real chance Williams will miss the entire season but the Bucs didn't want to make a decision like that now. The Bucs have plenty of other options at running back with Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn and Michael Bennett. But making this move with Williams keeps the option open for him to return in the middle of a playoff drive.

In other moves, the Bucs got their roster down to 75 players by releasing linebacker Antoine Cash, cornerback Sammy Davis, safety Donte Nicholson and receiver Paris Warren. Cash, Davis and Nicholson were waived as injured. If they clear waivers, they'll revert back to Tampa Bay's injured reserve list.