The Bucs suffered their first significant setback of training camp Tuesday when they learned CB Torrie Cox, a special-teams standout, is sidelined for the season due to a knee injury.
Cox, 27, hurt his left knee during a practice Saturday and test results revealed major damage.
"He'll be placed on injured reserve and that's a big blow for us," Coach Jon Gruden said.
Cox played four games last fall before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. He also hurt his knee during the 2003 preseason, ending his rookie year.
In 2006, Cox started three games and was named first alternate to the NFC's Pro Bowl squad as a special-teams player.
Gruden said Tampa Bay will move quickly to fill Cox's roster spot.
"We're going to look at that, obviously, not only at the corner position but at another position," Gruden said. "You've got to have as many people as you can working on the field. We've had a couple of linemen in to work out - we might bring in a couple of receivers."
WR Joey Galloway, who arrived at camp plagued by a groin strain, did not practice for the fourth consecutive day.
Since 2005, Galloway has been placed on a light training-camp regimen in an effort to keep him healthy.
The 36-year-old speedster missed six games in 2004 because of a groin injury, but the Bucs say Galloway should be back on the field within days.
"He ran 20 100-yard dashes Monday and he looked pretty good to me," Gruden said. "I wish I could have run them that fast."
Gruden reported two other injuries Tuesday, with RB Earnest Graham twisting an ankle and TE Ben Troupe suffering a blow to the head that curtailed his morning practice.
Safety In Numbers For This Secondary
S Sabby Piscitelli is making a strong case to receive playing time in Tampa Bay's crowded secondary.
Piscitelli snagged an interception and caused a fumble after WR Michael Clayton caught a pass during Tuesday morning's practice. He has been so impressive the past few days, Bucs coach Jon Gruden is contemplating different defensive schemes to get Piscitelli on the field.
"Who says we can't play three safeties at a time? There are teams that play a dime defense," Gruden said. "He will work himself out onto the field if he continues doing what he's doing."
Piscitelli is playing behind S Jermaine Phillips, who is coming off a breakthrough season. Although he missed most of last season due to a foot injury, Piscitelli said he is stronger and faster in his second year.
"I'm going to try to start. If you're not out here trying to start and trying to beat somebody out, I don't know what you're doing," Piscitelli said. "We got two great safeties Phillips and Tanard Jackson. I'm trying to learn everything I can from Flip Phillips. He's been here for a while. He knows I'm pushing and he's pushing. ... All of us are competing real hard and it's going to make everyone better in the end."
Isn't That Special?
Second-round pick Dexter Jackson showcased soft hands as a punt returner during Tuesday afternoon's special teams practice.
Jackson, fellow WR Micheal Spurlock and RB Clifton Smith took turns catching punts from the Jugs gun and the drill was made more difficult when players were asked to field punts while holding on to a second football.
"Dexter's trying to earn his stripes," said Rich Bisaccia, who is coaching special teams and running backs this season. "The thing about the NFL is your personnel changes every single year in special teams all across the league. Hopefully, we'll have some production in the return game regardless who is back there."
In December, Spurlock became the first Tampa Bay player to return a kickoff for a touchdown, going 90 yards against the Falcons.
The Bucs finished tied for 11th in kick return average (23.3) and 28th in punt returns, averaging 6.7 yards.
Hold Your Horses, Cowboy
There has been little to no development in Tampa Bay's attempt to deal QB Chris Simms to Dallas, but ESPN reported the details ofa proposed trade The Tampa Tribune revealed months ago.
According to the report, Dallas wants Simms, but will not give a fourth-round pick, which is what the Bucs are seeking. If the Bucs are willing to take a lower-round draft pick, the deal could happen.
Detroit and Chicago are other teams believed to be interested in Simms.
He Said It
"It wears the other team down and it takes their souls, too." - DT Chris Hovan, on the value of a solid running game