Dark Clouds Gathering Over Offensive LineNovember 14th, 2012
Yes it looked very bad this afternoon when Joe saw right guard Jamon Meredith hobble noticeably when he was quickly whisked out of the Bucs locker room before any of the Tampa Bay pen and mic club could have a few words with him.
Meredith apparently suffered a nasty left foot injury of some sort and has his foot wrapped and was on crutches. His locker is right next to the entrance to the locker room and Meredith was helped out of the locker room, limping considerably, just as the open locker room session began.
Meredith’s injury — its severity is not yet public but Joe can say there is no way he could have stepped on a football field today and played — isn’t the lone bump or bruise the Bucs are concerned about on an offensive line already wracked by injuries.
Bucs left guard Jeremy Zuttah was held out of practice today with a sore shoulder. Bucs coach Greg Schiano tried to downplay it saying that Zuttah had just gone through two “physical” games at left guard since replacing Carl Nicks and Schiano wanted to make sure Zuttah was healthy enough to start Sunday at Carolina.
“What kept him out was the game [last Sunday], he got bumped a lot,” Schiano said. “His shoulder, we just want to make sure he is OK to go. he had a great game Sunday. He’s had two physical games at that position we just want to make sure he is ready to go Sunday. hopefully he is ready to go tomorrow.”
Schiano went on to laud Zuttah for being such a team player in a league full of me-first players.
“First thing is, the thing we really talk about here is to be an unselfish teammate and I think that is what Jeremy has done,” Schiano said. “He finally had a chance to be the center and was moving along and all of a sudden , the best thing for the team was to move back to guard. Trust me, I’ve know the kid a long time. He did not want to do that but he did it for the team and has really played well.
“I know flying back [from Oakland], that was a physical game. and this week he plays another physical game. I have to make sure we have him for Sundays. We don’t have many more moves left.”
Mind you Schiano stated this knowing about Meredith’s injury.
It didn’t sound dire about Zuttah, based on what Schiano said. But, in the worst-case scenario, if both Zuttah and Meredith can’t go, that means the Bucs have lost four of five starting offensive linemen, with Donald Penn being the lone starter still standing (though Jeremy Trueblood is still a backup).
If Bucs offensive line coach Bob Bostad can pull through that mess, then the man truly deserves a raise.