SEATTLE -- After one game, Tampa Bay is already dealing with
key injuries, again.
Williams' injury is the more serious. The second-year running
back has an unspecified rib injury, coach Jon Gruden said, and was
being evaluated following the Bucs' 20-6 loss.
"I don't like to think about injuries, certainly at the
quarterback position or any position," Gruden said. "When Carnell
is laying out there, when Brian Kelly comes limping off, you don't
like to see it."
Tampa Bay also lost cornerback Kelly to a groin strain and
receiver David Boston didn't play after injuring his foot in
Garcia was "dinged" after getting hit while scrambling for a
first down midway through the third quarter. He was taken to the
locker room and examined by team physicians before returning to the
sideline and re-entering with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter.
"I just got my bell rung," Garcia said. "Just the combination
of taking a shot to my head and my head bouncing off the ground
didn't create a real positive effect."
The 37-year-old Garcia, making his first start with the
Buccaneers, left after a dual hit in the legs and shoulders at the
end of a scramble. Garcia, playing in his 100th career game, dodged
Patrick Kerney on a third-and-2 and ran 3 yards before Julian Peterson hit him low and LeRoy Hill hit him across the shoulders.
Garcia stayed on one knee for a couple of minutes before trainers
helped him off the field.
A moment after that, Garcia walked, then jogged into the tunnel
that leads to the visitor's locker room.
Garcia completed eight of his first 10 passes and was 12-for-19
for 152 yards before leaving. Fourth-year veteran Luke McCown
replaced him with Tampa Bay trailing 10-6 and 6:48 left in the
third quarter. McCown stayed in the game even though Garcia
returned to the sideline with his helmet on while standing next to
Gruden. Garcia finally informed Gruden he felt well enough to
finish the game.
"Once Jeff felt he could return to play we let him finish,"
Garcia finished 19 of 27 for 201 yards.
Williams got hit simultaneously by Kerney, Brian Russell and
Lofa Tatupu at the end of a 4-yard run. After a moment on the turf
holding his arm, Williams walked slowly to the bench with trainers
at each side. A few minutes after that, he walked slowly and
unsteadily to the locker room.
Gruden was unclear as to the severity of the injury.
"I don't know that it's broken," he said.
Williams rushed for 60 yards on 12 carries, including a 20-yard
run, before he got hurt. Michael Pittman replaced him.
The fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft, ran for 798 yards in
14 games last season before he missed the final two games with a
foot injury. In his debut season, he ran for 1,178 yards and was AP
Offensive Rookie of the Year.
"We lost some guys that could have helped us," Gruden said.