NFL Wire News

Bucs stick with McCown at QB


TAMPA, Fla. — One quarterback is too sore to play in Sunday’s game. The shocking thing is that it is Carolina’s Cam Newton and not Tampa Bay’s Josh McCown.

The Panthers quarterback is out after a vehicle accident Tuesday left him with two transverse process fractures in his back. That means Carolina will have to turn to Derek Anderson, who beat the Bucs 20-14 in the season opener.

McCown only felt as if he were in a collision he shouldn’t have walked away from last Sunday at Detroit, when he was sacked six times and hit on 14 other occasions.

The surprising thing is despite the Bucs’ 2-11 record and the fact that they are eliminated from the playoff picture in the lowly NFC South, coach Lovie Smith is deciding to stick with his 35-year-old quarterback rather than see what the team has in Mike Glennon.

The only thing on Smith’s mind is winning the game Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

“We’re not looking at guys,” Smith said Wednesday. “Just like every other week, the guys that start are the guys that give us the best chance to win. That’s not going to change. Week 16, it will be the same way. We may tweak here or there on some of the things. Josh is our quarterback and gives us the best chance to win.”

McCown has been part of other organizations that turned to a younger quarterback once the team was eliminated from playoff contention, so it would not have surprised him if the Bucs decided to give Glennon another chance behind the wheel of the offense Sunday at Carolina.

“I’ve been around long enough and been in situations where they do that, where an organization will say, ‘Let’s do this,'” McCown said. “For me, it was just about trying to help this team win and onto the next week.

“I understand moving forward, yeah, they’re sticking with me right now, where that leaves me and obviously it’s encouraging to have another opportunity to go at it and build momentum moving into 2015.”

McCown enjoyed one peak performance, against the Washington Redskins, in a season otherwise spent in the valleys. He is 1-7 as a starter this year with nine touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.

Glennon went 1-4 as a starter when McCown was injured, and he has won only five times in 18 games.

On defense, the Bucs may be without defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (knee) and linebacker Lavonte David (concussion). Both players were limited in practice Wednesday. But that is nothing like the news Panthers coach Ron Rivera received after Newton’s car accident Tuesday.

“Quite honestly, we had just broke from a meeting and (were) going to lunch when the reports started to come in,’ Rivera said. “At first — I guess a couple of years ago or this year, there was a hoax going around about him as well. So when we heard it, we said, ‘We’ll see.’ I asked somebody to call our director of team security, and they said, ‘Well he’s already headed down to the site.’

“I said, ‘Really?’ Because it was about a block away from our facility. So we had people headed to the site right when it happened, and it was most certainly an eye-opener. It does put a lot of things into perspective in terms of the importance of life. Thank goodness nobody was hurt seriously — him or the other driver of the (other) vehicle.”

While the Bucs can only try to finish the season strong and play the spoiler, the Panthers are only a game out in the NFC South.

“Oh, it’s extremely motivating,” Carolina tight end Olsen said. “That’s what you play for. Every year, (teams) put up in the offseason their team goals, the first one is to win their division — that’s across the board. Somehow, things obviously haven’t gone well for really any of us, generally speaking, in the division, but we find ourselves still in the hunt.

“It’s a little unconventional and it’s not typical of the NFC South, but it is what it is right now, and we’re not going to apologize (and) we’re going to continue to try to win each game. That’s been our approach all season.”

NOTES: Former Rutgers LB Ka’Lial Glaud was re-signed to the practice squad. … Among those missing practice Wednesday were DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring), RB Bobby Rainey (ankle) and MLB Mason Foster (Achilles). … Among those limited in practice were DT Gerald McCoy (knee), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back), TE Brandon Myers (calf) and WLB Lavonte David (concussion).

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