DE Jones felled by sprained knee
|[Times photo: James Borchuck]
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, right, and safety John Lynch (47) watch as trainers attend to Marcus Jones.
By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 25, 2002
TAMPA -- The Bucs defensive line was dealt a potentially damaging blow when starting end Marcus Jones sprained his left knee with 1:12 left in the first quarter Saturday and did not return.
Jones was rushing around the left end when his knee buckled. He dropped and was carted off a few minutes later. Jones was replaced by former Florida State standout Greg Spires, a free-agent acquisition from Cleveland. Spires, who appeared to play well in Jones' absence, combined with fellow end Ron Warner for a third-quarter sack of Redskins backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey.
Jones was to be evaluated late Saturday.
"All I have to say right now is that we are very concerned," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said.
Jones, in his seventh season, is seventh on the Bucs' all-time sack list with 24. He has 39 career starts.
Veteran offensive tackle Lomas Brown (knee) and rookie wide receiver Marquise Walker (sprained ankle) also were injured. Gruden said Brown was hurt during warmups.
|[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Jermaine Phillips lets an end zone interception slip through his finger tips in the third quarter.
STILL PALS: Redskins wide receiver Jacquez Green had lunch with Bucs receiver and former teammate Keyshawn Johnson on Saturday. "I still keep in touch with some of them," Green said.
Green, who played four seasons in Tampa, scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He claimed he was held on the play by Bucs cornerback Tim Wansley.
"It was cool, but it's a preseason game so I have to keep it in perspective," Green said.
RISING STOCK?: Safety John Howell, receiver/kick returner Aaron Lockett and Warner, three players thought to be on the bubble to make the team, might have improved their chances of surviving Tuesday's cut.
Howell, a second-year pro from Colorado State, played 14 games last season with one start but hurt himself by missing the first two weeks of training camp for personal reasons. On Washington's first possession of the third quarter, Howell stepped in front of a Ramsey pass and returned the interception 27 yards.
Warner, also a second-year player, spent most of 2001 on the practice squad. He had 1 1/2 sacks and a 3-yard tackle for loss in the third quarter.
Lockett, a rookie seventh-round pick from Kansas State, is hoping to make the team because of his skills as a return man. He returned a third-quarter punt 31 yards, showing exceptional speed and good vision on the play.
The news wasn't good for one bubble player, veteran tackle Jerry Wunsch. A starter every game last season, he did not play despite the Bucs' line woes.
CHANGE OF PLANS: Redskins quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, was expected to start for the second straight week but caught the flu and did not dress. He was replaced by another former Gator, Shane Matthews, who completed 8 of 15 passes for 97 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Working with the first team, Matthews, who started Washington's second preseason game, directed the Redskins to three scores.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Redskins coach Steve Spurrier made complaining to officials an art form at Florida. At least now, he has some recourse.
With 7:57 left in the first quarter, Champ Bailey intercepted a Brad Johnson pass on third down but was ruled to be out of bounds by officials on the field. Spurrier challenged the play, and after a few minutes the call was changed, giving the Redskins possession at the Bucs 32.
They scored a touchdown two plays later.
Spurrier last had replay available when he coached the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits in 1985.
FLAG DAY: The teams combined for 11 first-half penalties, covering 122 yards. The Bucs were flagged four times for 71 yards and were hit with two defensive pass interference calls for 37 and 22 yards, respectively.
"Those pass interference calls were as costly as anything," Gruden said.
Bucs defensive starters Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp were called for personal fouls on consecutive plays, but both were nullified by offsetting personal fouls. Sapp was flagged for taunting after he and Redskins tailback Stephen Davis had words. But Davis was called by officials for shoving Sapp.
Bucs right tackle Kenyatta Walker twice was called for not being on the line of scrimmage.
The Bucs finished with 10 penalties for 126 yards.
ODDS AND ENDS: Bucs fullback Mike Alstott showed his versatility on Tampa Bay's first possession. He first lined up at fullback two plays, came out for a play, then returned to play tailback, wide receiver and split back in succession. ... Several Bucs fans wore T-shirts that read "Got Gruden?" on the front and "We do!" on the back. A few "Got Spurrier?" shirts also were seen throughout the stadium. ... Spurrier's first-quarter appearance on the stadium's giant video screens drew a chorus of boos. ... Before the game, Bucs mascot Captain Fear ran across the field dragging an inflatable alligator.
-- KEITH NIEBUHR, GREG AUMAN
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