By Tom Krasniqi
Anytime you start the season 0-3, you’re a long shot to get into the playoffs. If the Bucs lose Sunday at home to the Cardinals, they can pretty much forget about going to the postseason.
Since 1990, only three teams that have started the season at 0-3 have made the playoffs. Ironically enough, the 1982 Bucs started the strike-shortened season at 0-3 and managed to make the playoffs so there’s hope.
Only one team in NFL history has started the season at 0-4 and made the playoffs. That was the 1992 San Diego Chargers led by quarterback Stan Humphries. Not only did San Diego make the postseason, they went all the way to the Super Bowl before getting their doors blown off by Steve Young and the 49ers.
With that being said, the Bucs players know what’s at stake on Sunday: You lose and it’s a death blow to your season.
“This one is definitely for sure,” Bucs linebacker Jonathan Casillas said on Friday. “It’s a tough spot being 0-3. But 0-4? That’s real tough.”
Nobody wants to be 0-4. Bucs players and coaches. Ownership. Fans. Even the ‘cynical’ media. Being around a 0-4 locker room makes our job even tougher.
“It’s not panic mode but there’s definitely a sense of urgency trying to get that first win,” right guard Davin Joseph opined. “It will help everybody going into the bye week, really kind of take a deep breath and get things back on the right track.”
The Bucs are not thinking about the postseason. Right now, it’s all about getting a win before the bye week.
“I really only think about Sunday,” said Bucs head coach Greg Schiano after Friday’s practice. One Buc Place would be a miserable place to be should they lose on Sunday.
As for the final injury report, starting wideouts Vincent Jackson (rib) and Mike Williams (hamstring) were back at practice on Friday on a limited basis. VJax and Williams are listed as questionable but both are expected to play. CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) is also questionable. OL Gabe Carimi (illness), DT Derek Landri (knee), TE Tom Crabtree (ankle), and CB Michael Adams are all out. DT Gary Gibson (back), DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and SS Mark Barron (hamstring) are probable. Barron was added to the injury list on Friday and was limited in practice.
Notable injuries for the Cardinals, WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe) are probable. DT Dan Williams (not injury related) is out. Safety Rashad Johnson (finger) is questionable.
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