Bucs DE Gaines Adams is optimistic he will be able to play against Washington on Sunday.
Adams missed practice for a second consecutive day with a groin injury. He sustained the injury during Tampa Bay's recent loss to the New York Giants, and he has been trying to recover for Sunday's game.
"Just listening to the trainer right now," Adams said. "It's out of my hands. We're rehabbing and trying to get ready for Sunday."
If Adams is unable to play, Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Stylez G. White would likely start in his place.
Adams is not the only player who might not play Sunday.
Bucs RB Derrick Ward (knee), C Jeff Faine (triceps), DE Kyle Moore (knee) and QB Byron Leftwich (hip) did not participate in practice. WR Antonio Bryant (knee), G Marcus Johnson (ankle) and G Jeremy Zuttah (hip) were limited, while RB Earnest Graham (hamstring), CB Torrie Cox (ankle) and WR Maurice Stovall (knee) fully participated.
Faine had hoped to play this week, but he won't be ready. He expects to play against Philadelphia next week.
"I just want to get back on the field and help my team," Faine said.
Loss of respect
Tampa Bay appears to be losing respect from NFL experts only three games into this season.
On this week's episode of Showtime's "Inside The NFL," Tampa Bay was mentioned as one of the league's worst teams after its 0-3 start.
"Let's face it. Raheem (Morris) skipped a step," Cris Collingsworth said. "I think he's a talented young coach, but he went right from the secondary, he never was a defensive coordinator and went on to be head coach. Now we're talking about guys like Mike Tomlin, Rex Ryan, great defensive coordinators, Jim Schwartz even. They came in and were effective."
Even former Bucs standout DL Warren Sapp found it hard to defend his previous team.
"You need a defense," Sapp said. "That's the one thing they've always had in Tampa was a defense. Now (Monte) Kiffin is gone, they give up 41 points a game, 400 yards ... I'll tell you what. They are playing a defense that I am unfamiliar with."
Looking for a rush
The only pressure opposing quarterbacks have endured against Tampa Bay is figuring out what to do with all their pocket time.
Tampa Bay has only three sacks this season. DE Jimmy Wilkerson and DT Roy Miller are the only defensive linemen with sacks (CB Ronde Barber has the other).
Adams does not have one, and White's last sack came in November against the Saints. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates is optimistic Tampa Bay's pass rush can improve this week.
"We just haven't had any sustained pressure over a period of time," Bates said. "We've had some good individual rushes, but not consistent enough to get the pressure that we need. We've tried to create a little pressure, and even when we've created as far as bringing some people, we've been beaten on the back end.
"We're still searching. It's a problem area. Last week was probably our best one-on-one pass rush on the practice field. We just have to continue to improve individually, collectively, and there is a lot of work to be done still."
Anwar S. Richardson