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SAN FRANCISCO - The Bucs' receiving corps was dealt dual blows Sunday when Joey Galloway and Maurice Stovall suffered injuries - one serious, one perhaps less serious.
Galloway aggravated a left shoulder injury and did not return, but the team does not believe the injury will affect him long term. He was hurt on his only catch of the game, a 29-yarder that took him over 1,000 yards for the third straight season.
Indications were that Stovall broke his right forearm, though coach Jon Gruden stopped short of confirmation. Stovall's role was expanding, on special teams, where he has become one of the unit's most reliable players, and in three-receiver sets.
"He's a big target and a big loss for our team," Gruden said.
Receiver Ike Hilliard said, "He was just starting to come along. It breaks my heart. Each game he's out there rotating with Mike (Clayton) as the third receiver, but he's still out there making plays. To a man, regardless of who plays, we have to pick it up."
Without Galloway, the offense was not the same. The team's primary deep threat helps other receivers get into one-on-one matchups because he generally draws the safety help. But the Bucs might have him sit out next week's regular-season finale against Carolina in Tampa.
"He commands so much attention," Hilliard said. "He definitely makes my life easier. I need him out there. But Joey will be fine whether he plays one snap next week or plays 300 snaps next week."
Micheal Spurlock took snaps at receiver for the first time.
Defensive end Greg White sustained a quad contusion. He tested it after sitting out a series but had limited mobility. He said he'd likely play against Carolina.
RETURN WOES: The Bucs had a rocky day returning punts, with Phillip Buchanon fumbling once (the play was negated by a penalty) and finishing with four returns for no yards.
He later was replaced by Spurlock, who had two returns for 12 yards and had a fumble overturned by replay.
On one punt, Buchanon failed to field the ball and watched as it rolled to the Tampa Bay 6.
"Returning punts out here in San Francisco is tough anyway because of the way the winds are," he said. "But I was just doing what I was coached to do. The ball took an awkward bounce and went all the way back the other direction."
TROTTER DEBUTS: With backup middle linebacker Ryan Nece sitting out with a groin injury, Jeremiah Trotter played his first snaps on defense after the starting unit left the game.
It had been a long time coming for Trotter, who signed in September and had played sparingly on special teams.
"It felt good finally being out there," he said. "It's one of the best feelings to stand in front of the huddle and see 20 eyes staring back at you. Nothing can move until you give the (call)."
BUCS BITS: Running back Michael Pittman caught his 280th pass with the Bucs, passing Jimmy Giles for sixth place in team history. ... Defensive end Gaines Adams could draw a fine for leading with his helmet when hitting 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill. Adams was assessed a 15-yard penalty.