Tampa Bay puts Alstott on IR

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay running back Mike Alstott was
placed on injured reserve Tuesday night with a neck problem that
may require surgery.

Buccaneers general manager Rich McKay said the season-ending
injury, which has bothered the six-time Pro Bowl fullback for about
three weeks, is not believed to be career-threatening.

"In looking at it today and talking to the doctors, the safe
way to go is to shut Mike down," McKay said.

"It should not affect his career. He should be able to return,
based on where it is and what it is. But it is something that more
than likely will require surgery."

Alstott started Monday night's game against the Indianapolis
Colts, despite sitting out two days of practice to undergo tests
last week. He rushed for 1 yard on three carries and had two
receptions for 25 yards before leaving in the second half.

McKay said the Bucs are not sure when Alstott originally hurt
his neck. It's also unclear when he aggravated the injury in the
overtime loss to the Colts.

The eighth-year pro was examined by specialists last week and
cleared to play after traveling to Pittsburgh for more tests on
Sunday. The exact nature of the injury has not been revealed.

"I would say it's a disc. But if you get beyond that, I'm
lost," McKay said, adding that no date has been set for surgery.

"It won't be tomorrow. It won't be next week. It probably won't
be in three weeks. We'll take our time. But because of that it was
time to shut him down," he said.

With Alstott out, Jameel Cook becomes the starting fullback with
Darian Barnes as his backup.

Cornerback Brian Kelly topped the rest of the injury report. He
is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Washington
Redskins because of a left pectoral strain.

Receiver Keyshawn Johnson is questionable because of a left
thigh bruise that kept him from playing in overtime against the

But the new wasn't all bad.

Michael Pittman, who rushed for a season-high 106 yards on 16
carries but was unable to finish against the Colts because of a
stomach virus, is expected to play against Washington.

Meanwhile, the Bucs claimed safety Travaris Robinson off waivers
from the Atlanta Falcons, signed receiver Charles Lee to a two-year
contract, and agreed to terms on two-year deals with linebackers
Vinny Ciurciu and Justin Smith.

The team released receiver Marvin Minnix, defensive end Ron
Warner and linebacker Jack Golden, who was waived injured. Running
back Travis Stephens was signed to the practice squad.