Bucs' Tom Crabtree has significant sprain

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a hit at the tight end position in Thursday night’s preseason finale.

Tom Crabtree, who is a candidate to start, suffered what coach Greg Schiano said was a significant ankle sprain. Schiano said he doesn’t know yet what the timeline is for Crabtree’s injury, but said he believes it’s a high-ankle sprain.

“I don’t know how high though,’’ Schiano told the media Friday morning. “The issue is the higher up it is, the longer it takes to get back, generally.’’

With the uncertainty about whether or not Crabtree will be ready for the season opener with the New York Jets, the Bucs may have to scramble a bit at tight end. Prior to Crabtree’s injury, it appeared as if the Bucs were prepared to let him share time with Luke Stocker.

Now, a heavier load may fall on Stocker, who also missed some time with an injury earlier in the preseason. Nate Byham also could take on a bigger role. With roster cuts due by Saturday evening, the Bucs could end up hanging onto Danny Noble if it looks like Crabtree will be out for several weeks.