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Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs notes: First two foes may start backup QBs

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TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could face reserve quarterbacks the first two weeks of the season as they play host to the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams, respectively.

Carolina’s Cam Newton has a hairline rib fracture, while Sam Bradford of St. Louis has been declared out for the year with a torn ACL.

“I assume Cam will be able to play,’’ Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “That’s who we’re preparing for. We haven’t really gotten to that point. Right now, we’re doing a lot of work on them, but we’ll assume he’ll play until told otherwise.’’

In Carolina, Newton appeared to be less stiff when walking on Monday as he ramped up film work on the Tampa Bay defense.

“Cam’s with the coordinator, he’s with the quarterback coach,’’ Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “He’s getting a feel for Tampa Bay right now.’’

Tedford undergoes procedure

Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford underwent a medical procedure Monday and might not return to work in time for Thursday night’s preseason game against the Redskins.

Tedford, 52, is entering his first season in the NFL.

”Jeff Tedford wasn’t here today, he had a medical procedure done this morning,’’ Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “He’s resting comfortably and he’ll be out for a short period of time. Things should be OK.’’

Tedford has never called a play on the NFL level. From 2002 to 2012, he was the head coach at the University of California, where he worked with current Green Bay star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Smith didn’t speculate on a timetable for Tedford’s return, but said his other offensive coaches would be ready to fill in collectively for Tedford Thursday, if needed.

“Our offensive staff will come together and do it,’’ said Smith. “We have a coordinator, yes. From there, there’s always a backup plan. Everything keeps going.’’

xtra points

The Bucs released first-year LB Damaso Munoz, leaving Tampa Bay with two additional cuts to make before today’s deadline to reach the 75-player limit. ... Thursday night’s matchup marks the fourth consecutive year the Bucs and Redskins will meet in the preseason finale. ... Washington is 2-1 under new head coach Jay Gruden, younger brother of former Bucs coach Jon Gruden.

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