TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2004) -- Tampa Bay's already thin receiving corps was further depleted when the team learned Joey Galloway will miss four to
six weeks after aggravating a groin injury.
Coach Jon Gruden said the oft-injured 10th-year pro, obtained in an offseason trade from the Dallas Cowboys, has a tear in his left groin that is more
serious than the Bucs originally anticipated.
Galloway missed most of the preseason with a sore groin and aggravated the injury in the first half of a 16-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. He
came up limping turning to try catch a pass that glanced off his hands in the end zone, costing the Bucs a touchdown.
"I can't say it didn't completely heal or was completely healed, but he was cleared to play and practiced well," Gruden said. "He just made a slight
turn for a ball and aggravated it on the way down. It's just unfortunate. We're going to miss him."
The loss is especially damaging because the Bucs also are without last year's leading receiver, Keenan McCardell, who is holding out for a new
contract after catching 84 passes for 1,174 yards and eight TDs last season.
The team is also missing Joe Jurevicius, recovering from back surgery after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Charles Lee, who got a
chance to play last year when Keyshawn Johnson was shelved because of differences with Gruden, has been slowed by a sore hamstring and did not play
against the Redskins.
Galloway was obtained in the trade that sent Johnson to Dallas during the offseason. Still considered one of the fastest players in the NFL, Gruden
was counting on his addition to add another dimension to the offense.
Tampa Bay was limited to 169 yards at Washington, including just 30 on the ground. The defense scored the team's only touchdown, and Martin
Gramatica's 47-yard field goal was set up by a long kickoff return.
"It was a combination of them playing very good defense and us not taking advantage of some opportunities when they presented themselves. In the end,
that was the deciding factor," Gruden said.
Galloway had one catch for no yards and watched the second half of the game from the sideline on crutches.
Rookie Michael Clayton or former Green Bay and Detroit receiver Bill Schroeder will replace Galloway in the starting lineup. Jurevicius is on the
reserve non-football injury list and is eligible to return after six games, so Gruden said there are no immediate plans to sign a receiver.
Clayton, the team's first-round draft pick, had seven receptions for 53 yards in his debut. Schroeder, who will assume Galloway's role as the primary
punt returner, had two catches for 26 yards.
Galloway had 261 receptions for 4,122 yards and scored 41 touchdowns in his first four pro seasons in Seattle. A contract dispute wiped out half his
1999 season with the Seahawks, and he was a disappointment the past four years in Dallas, including 2000, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury
in his first game with the Cowboys.
The groin injury is not expected to require surgery.
"As I understand, he will be off his feet for a couple of weeks and then resume his rehab," the coach said. "It is a significant tear ... and we are
looking at four to six weeks. It's going to take some time."