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Smith, Griese and Phillips Absent

Posted Nov 13, 2008 by Anwar S. Richardson

Updated Nov 13, 2008 at 04:20 PM

It is starting to appear that Tampa Bay TE Alex Smith (ankle) may not play this Sunday against Minnesota.

Smith did not participate in Thursday’s practice, along with QB Brian Griese (elbow) and S Jermaine Phillips (forearm).

“With our tight end situation, Alex Smith is the key,” Tampa Bay Coach Jon Gruden said. “He’s played a lot of football for us. A lot of different roles and we’re concerned about his status for this game.”

Griese sustained his injury against Denver on Oct. 5 and had been a limited participant in practice, but Gruden said his quarterback’s absence from practice this week does not indicate a rehab setback.

“We want him to heal,” Griese said. “We are keeping him idle right now. We think he’ll be OK in a few days. We have plenty of quarterbacks to work with.”

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