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Saturday, August 25, 2012
Bucs will ponder options at guard

By Pat Yasinskas

As expected, Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano delivered some bad news when he met with the media Saturday afternoon.

Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph suffered a season-ending injury in Friday night’s preseason victory against New England, Schiano said. Joseph tore the patellar tendon in his right knee. Schiano said Joseph is scheduled for surgery Monday and will be placed on injured reserve.

This is a huge blow because the Bucs thought they had the potential to have one of the league’s better offensive lines. A big part of their logic was that they were pairing Joseph with free-agent pickup Carl Nicks, who had been an All-Pro with New Orleans. The thinking was that the Bucs could have the league’s best guard tandem.

Now, they have to look at other alternatives -- and it’s not likely any of them are on a par with Joseph.

“It’s part of what we do,’’ Schiano said. “You mourn and you move on.’’

Schiano said the Bucs will monitor guards that are available and come available as teams trim their rosters. But he also said it’s likely Joseph’s replacement in the starting lineup will come from within the existing roster.

Ted Larsen seems to be the leading candidate. He replaced Joseph on Friday night. But Derek Hardman, who has had a solid preseason, also could get a look.