Peep Show

Updated: November 4, 2003, 2:40 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Lynch
Lynch
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The team lost backup S Jermaine Phillips Sunday for at least four weeks with a broken right forearm, but there is a silver lining to the team's injury cloud in the secondary. Safety John Lynch, whom Phillips had been replacing, has been upgraded to probable and should be able to play against Carolina this week. But that might be the only good news. Linebacker Ryan Nece is questionable with a sprained ankle, LT Roman Oben missed Sunday's game with a broken hand, and WR Joe Jurevicius suffered a slight setback in practice last week and remains questionable with a knee sprain. And the injuries, as well as the team's 4-4 record, are starting to wear on coach Jon Gruden. "We've got to give Jurevicius a kick in the butt," Gruden told the Tampa Tribune, "and get Lynch back and hopefully Roman Oben and some others to generate a little bit more consistency in terms of executing a master plan, as we had coming into this season."

Jacksonville Jaguars: Though coach Jack Del Rio considered yanking QB Byron Leftwich after he fumbled on consecutive series in the fourth quarter Sunday in Baltimore, he stuck with him. "I was real frustrated when I saw the ball come out on some of the sacks. So I can't pretend that [yanking him] didn't enter my mind," Del Rio told the Florida Times-Union. "In the end, those are just situations where we can be better around him and he can be a little smarter with the way he holds the ball, but I just don't feel it was justified to pull him at that time." That theme will continue this week, as Del Rio said that Leftwich will remain under center for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts and that coaches will work with him on his fumbling problem. "For Byron, what we're going to work on, he has to do a better job of fundamentally protecting the football. He can't allow the ball to get away from his body and put it in a vulnerable position. Those are things that are correctable. What you can't coach is a guy to have that kind of arm, that kind of decision-making. I think the future is awfully bright for him. So I remain encouraged about Byron and about his future."

Detroit Lions: RB Artose Pinner, who was chosen in the fourth round of this year's draft, will begin practicing for the first time Wednesday. Pinner broke his left leg in the Senior Bowl and was put on the non-football injury (NFI) list before training camp began. Beginning Wednesday, the Lions will have three weeks to decide whether to add Pinner to the 53-player active roster or leave him on the injured list, meaning he would not be eligible to play this year. Pinner will be activated, but probably after the full three weeks. The broken bone has healed, but he has had problems with a tight Achilles tendon. The Lions have had trouble with their ineffective ground game, but Pinner won't be expected to contribute too much right away. "We have to decide what he looks like in practice," coach Steve Mariucci told the Detroit News. "We're going to bring him into the action gradually. He's not going to carry the ball 25 times the first game."


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