Coaches aren’t normally listed on injury reports, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may warrant an exception. First-year offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is questionable for Sunday’s opener versus Carolina.
The former Cal head coach was hospitalized last week after an undisclosed surgical procedure, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He missed the club’s preseason finale on Thursday, and has not worked a full day since, though he has stopped by the facility and communicated with the Bucs’ offensive staff.
“(Tedford is) getting better,” head coach Lovie Smith told the paper. “He stopped through this weekend. We’re taking our time with him. Again, he’s getting better each day. When he’ll be back here full time, I don’t know. … Just know that he’s getting better and we’ll see how that all plays out. In the meantime, the rest of our offensive staff will pick up for Jeff, similar to how we did it last week with all of the guys really pitching in.
Nevertheless, Tampa Bay is proceeding for Sunday as if Tedford will not be with them.
Quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo called plays for the Bucs’ preseason game against Washington last week. Arroyo, 34, coached under Tedford at Cal in 2011-12, and spent last season as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Southern Miss.
If there is a good time to play a game without your offensive coordinator, it’s the opener. Tampa Bay began preparing for Carolina as soon as the schedule was announced in April.
“It’s a credit to Lovie for having a plan, having a thought process to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to move forward with the plan we have in place,'” quarterback Josh McCown said. “And I’ve been looking at Carolina. The nice thing about it, our eyes have been on them for an extended period of time, probably more than I’ll look at any other team. I think we feel really good about that.”