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Bucs turn to Earnest Graham again

With the news now official that Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount will miss a second straight game with a knee injury, it’s time for a look at the next man up.

That’s veteran Earnest Graham and that’s not a bad thing. When Blount was out last Sunday, the Bucs simply turned to Graham and he responded with 109 rushing yards in a victory against New Orleans.

Lots of fans said the Bucs should have added a backup to or a complement for Blount in free agency. I was a member of that club. But last week showed the Bucs knew what they were doing.

They have a lot of confidence in Graham, a player many forget about. Gary Shelton recently wrote this column in which he referred to Graham as the most underrated player in franchise history. I might put former tight end Tyji Armstrong in that argument. Then again, no.

Graham is 31 and he’s played tailback, fullback and special teams during his career. He’s played them all very well.

Part of me wants to say the Bucs should go out and find another running back if it looks like Blount’s injury is going to linger. Part of me wants to say Graham can’t do what he did last week over the long haul.

But the one thing Graham has shown throughout his career is that you never should sell him short.