The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Bucs running back Cadillac Williams suffered a torn Patella Tendon in Sundays win over the Panthers. Also, Luke Petigout appears to have suffered a torn ACL and is also out for the season. Both of these injuries have yet to be confirmed by the Buccaneer organization, but expect them to do so tomorrow at Jon Gruden's 11 AM press conference.
Williams had averaged 3.5 yards per carry before going down and looked to be having one of his better games early today. Petigout went down a little later in the game and was replaced by second year man Donald Penn. Expect the Bucs to activate Kenneth Darby from the practice squad to take Cadillac's spot on the roster.
The Bucs will have to rely on Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham to share the load for the rest of the season. Pittman and Graham finished out the Carolina game strong and both have played great so far this season. The loss of Cadillac hurts the Bucs, but may not be as bad as people think. Cadillac had been slowed by his bruised ribs and was not hitting holes with power. Meanwhile, Pittman and Graham have been explosive and powerful running through holes and running over defenders at times.
The Bucs have options to replace Petigout at with Donald Penn and Anthony Davis on the roster. Penn played great after coming in for Petigout and Davis has been a starter in the league for a while now. Petigout was one of the prized off season acquisitions, but he was not really having a great season so far. The loss hurts because of Petigout's experience, but it is not as bad as it seems.
If the Bucs think they need a running back to replace Cadillac they could look at Corey Dillon who is still out their as a free agent. Dillion was released by the Patriots, who went with second year man Laurence Maroney as their featured back. Dillon had been rumored to maybe go to the Bears to help out their bad running game, but has not yet. Pittman and Graham can do the job and their is no reason to go get Dillon, but Gruden is always looking for a guy he can lean on in the running game.
Another matter for the Bucs will be how comfortable they are with Cadillac as their feature back in the future. He has been very injury prone since coming into the league and they may want to go another way in the draft of through free agency.