Thursday, April 05, 2007

Quarles the next to go?

According to the Bucs Radio Network Quarles is out as of tomorrow.

"The Buccaneers added to their offensive line Tuesday by signing former Atlanta guard Matt Lehr. A seventh-year pro, Lehr spent the last two seasons with the Falcons after playing his first four years in Dallas followed by a single season (2004) with the Rams.Last year Lehr was suspended for four games midway through the season for violating the league's steroid/related substances policy. He did start 11 games in 2006-07 and in 69 career games has 48 starts.On Monday the Bucs learned their preseason schedule, and it's one that will keep them in state the whole way. The first opponent is a good one, as the Patriots come to Raymond James Stadium the second weekend of August (exact dates will be announced soon).After the opener the Bucs will play at Jacksonville and at Miami before concluding at home against the Texans.Shelton Quarles, depending on which reports one believes, either has a hip injury or a concussion. When asked from the football meetings in Arizona last week, Buccaneer head coach Jon Gruden did not shed light on the specifics but at least offered something that until then had not been clear: the Bucs do want Quarles back."We've got to let the medical people do their part also, and we'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope it works out," Gruden said in Friday's St. Petersburg Times. "Shelton still can really play well."Quarles is not telling, the Bucs are not saying, and with Quarles' comments to Bay area newspapers Tuesday the mystery is only growing. To both the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune, Quarles would not address what his injuries were but said he wants to play football. Reports had been that Quarles' injuries might lead to him having to at least sit out a year."I know I have the ability to play," Quarles told the Tribune. "If it was up to me, we proably wouldn't be talking about it right now," he said in the Times.Basically it sounds like the Bucs have been very slyly trying to save some money by releasing Quarles, using the injuries as a reason -- but again, no one can say what is hampering the linebacker, if anything.Recently the team signed linebacker Cato June."

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