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Earnest Graham Likely Out For Season

Posted Nov 17, 2008 by Anwar S. Richardson

Updated Nov 17, 2008 at 01:00 PM

Bucs coach Jon Gruden said RB Earnest Graham will likely not play again this season.

Graham sustained an ankle injury against Minnesota on Sunday when a defender fell on his ankle. Gruden said he does not expect Graham to play again this season.

“Earnest Graham’s ankle looks to be a serious injury and his status for the rest of the season is very much in question,” Gruden said. “Geno Hayes [linebacker] hurt his knee and we’re obviously real concerned about that as well. Both of those guy’s season could be in jeopardy right now.”

Tampa Bay will be forced to play with Warrick Dunn, Cadillac Williams and Clifton Smith, plus Gruden said there is a possibility FB B.J. Askew will receive work at running back.

Gruden also said the Bucs will look at other running backs to possibly sign.

“I don’t know the medical terms, but right now it doesn’t look like he [Graham] will play anytime soon.” Gruden said. “We’ll get the final results in the next couple of hours.”

Reader Comments

Por (Michael B) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I we just axed Bennett, and Smith can’t hold onto the ball.  Crap!

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Por (Nick Smith) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

That really hurts.

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Por (Michael Singleton) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This is the exact reason why they shouldn’t have cut Bennett. I understand that Caddy is coming back but now you rush him back and risk him getting injured again. Who the hell is still out there on the market?

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Por (epcolson) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I can’t believe this…we’re down to Dunn. I don’t think you can count Caddy yet…what can he do right now.  He’s only on the roster because of his contract…I hope I’m terribly wrong.  Cutting Bennett for an injured player isn’t bad if you have 2-3 backup plans…now we’re down to 1.  Dunn is banged up and got us 2.x yds per carry yesterday.  I love him but we NEED a goaline back.  Dunn -3yds from the 3 yrd line…we better come up with something fast!

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Por (Noah Burrows) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

We’ll be fine, we don’t need to sign more running backs, we already have 3. Somebody please tell Clifton Smith to stop fumbling. He’s fumbled in every game he’s played. Its time to bring back Caddy.

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Por (stephen james) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Kevin Jones anyone??
This kid is bananas. He played really well as a Lion, often breaking mulitple tackles on long runs, but was slightly injury prone. The Bears may let him go for cheap…

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Por (Greg) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

We are going to be fine, between dunn, askew, clifton smith, and williams we will continue to be able to run the ball, i just feel sorry for graham

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Por (shawn) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

this is exactly the reason why we should not have cut bennett yet until we actually saw what Cadillac can do on the friggin field. i know graham was bennett’s teammate but i bet he is sayin ” i told u so…Bucs.” i do believe in the teams decision to bring caddy on, because they see what we dont. so i believe it will work out, but i also have my doubts. but great game yesterday, and lets move on to detroit.

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Por (GoboBall) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I like Clifton Smith.  Keep giving him the ball, the fumbles will stop.

Carnell Williams is a fragile solution at best.  I’m not convinced he’ll make it the rest of the season without another injury.

Smith, Dunn, Askew, Williams by committe?  I hope hopeful/doubtful that will be a playoff winning formula.

Najeh Davenport: Released by Steelers not too long ago - not sure why other than their other backs - but he might be a goal line weapon.

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Por (matt) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

so lets see in the middle of a playoff drive we have a injured player gutting it out (Dunn) a rookie with a case of the fumbles (Clifton) and a guy coming back from a major knee injury (Cadillac) and a fullback with a on/off again hamstring issue (askew).  Very nice.

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Por (ATL Rick) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This hurts and the Bennett whining will begin.  What I think is funny is that last year everyone cried “Season over” when Caddy went down and Mr August, Ernest Graham, started running.  Now everyone is is crying “Season over” when Graham is out and Caddy is back.

The Bennett release is unfortunate, but people, smell the coffee.  Don’t be so blind.  They let Smith run instead of Bennett for some reason.  There was something not right with Bennett. 

Too many people that post here think they are geniuses, but they can’t see the obvious.

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Por (Poo Poo Dusty) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I feel said for Ernie but this happens in football.  I’m sure some radio guy on WDUI will use this to bash Gruden even more because of the release of Bennett.  Even though no one other than the players and coach knows what’s going on, everyone loves to think they do.

Bennett must’ve played badly in practice because there’s no way Gruden would release a fast guy like that if he didn’t have some issues.

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Por (Tony) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

most likely if they go out to sign someone they are just going to sign someone who knows the offense like lionel gates dont expect them to sign anyone amazing if that even happens the bucs will probably just keep what they have and go from there hope you feel better caddie rev up that engine and revive your career! GO BUCS!

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Por (RoboCop) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Cadillac is more like a Kia or a broke down Dodge at best! We should use Thomas Jones. Oh wait, I forgot.

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Por (Derek A) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey Steve, who the heck is we?  Until “we” see how cadillac plays?  The team knew full well that bennett provided no value and keeping caddie available was the best choice.  The team also determined that Smith beat out Bennett.  Why wait until “we” see it on the field?  What do you think this is, fantasy.

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Por (Go Bucs!) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Bored at work?  If you enjoy fantasy football, you might like this free online game.

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Por (ref813) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

We just put up over 100 yards against the No. 2 run D in the league without Graham.  I guess we better give up.  Why do some of you even claim to be Bucs fans?  Anyone who is giving up shouldn’t watch football.  It’s not for the weak and faithless.  The only thing that should concern anyone is the inability to score TDs in the red zone.  Think of how badly we would have beaten our last few opponents if we even scored TDs on 50% of red zone possessions.  We would be in everyone’s top 5, but we should give up because one player went down.  Only Tampa fans could be this pathetic.

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Por (ref813) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I love the way Williams is already garbage and he hasn’t even played a snap since early last year.  How do you know he won’t be good?  I guess some of you only know how to be terribly pessimistic.  Even without him, we have 2 health RBs and 2 healthy FBs.  Clayton can run pretty well, too.  If worse comes to worse, we’ll put him back there and have Galloway, Hilliard, Bryant, and our TEs to catch the passes.  That’s not too bad of a situation.  If we had kept Bennett, we would have had to drop Smith, who can return, too.  Once he stops fumbling, he should be good enough.

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Por (Eliot Toscano) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This sucks! I don’t see how anyone is happy about what’s going on with this team. We keep winning but at the same time we have no consitency on offense, the worst red-zone execution I have ever seen, and now we have a very thin line at the RB position. When your head coach says he will consider giving the fullback some carries (and the fullback is not Mike Allstott); we could be in big trouble! This is going to be a fierce race for the playoffs and with Dallas winning last night, we really need to finish this season strong and not fold like we did last year. I don’t think we can afford to lose another game especially against NFC/NFC South apponents. Gruden better be buying Kiffin flowers every Sunday!

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Por (Panther Fan in GA) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Glad to hear that most of the posters down here are just as frustrated with the Bucs and the people in CLT are with the Cats.

In th espirit of competition, it’s really heartbreaking to see such a huge piece go down for Tampa.  It was going to be a big test to beat Carolina in Charlotte…now it’s that much larger.  See you guys in Decemeber!

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Por (greg) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

How much you wanna bet the Bucs trade draft pick(s) to San Diego for Bennett.

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Por (kobefan) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

what was wrong with Bennett, did he ##### of Gruden like others?  Clifton SMith fumbles too much and Caddy is injury prone

Thank god for Dunn

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Por (oar) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

RobloCop Get over Thomas Jones. He took more money (we were in cap hell, thanks McKay) to play w/bears(whom he no longer plays for. Go watch the Jets. Also he had fumblidis with us 5 fumbles….so who cares!
And Greg Bradenton where’s larry and curly you stooge.

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Por (ref813) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

They didn’t like Bennett before and they aren’t going to change their minds now.  Why can’t you people let it go?  I wanted to see more of him, but we never did for whatever reason.  None of us is the coach, so there’s nothing else to say about it.  Get over it.  Some of you probably wanted something like this to happen just so you could come in here and blame Gruden for dropping Bennett so he could activate Williams.  We are 9th in the league in yards/game.  We are 5th in D.  The only other 2 teams in the top 10 in both are the Giants and Philly.  Why all of the crying?

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Por (Matt Pipes) on November 17, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Maybe this has been said already, but the Bucs had to either (a) let Caddy go on injured reserve last Wednesday or (b) activate Caddy and release someone else.  Bennett was the obvious person to release (ie: activate one RB and release another).  The timing of Graham’s injury is horrible, but the Bucs really couldn’t have handled it any other way.  I just hope Caddy is up to being an NFL running back again.  He didn’t look that good last year before getting injured.  We’ll see.  We have a lot riding on his legs now.

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