Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham was placed on the injured reserve earlier this week after spraining his right ankle against the Vikings last Sunday. Graham lit up the Lions' defense last year and combined for almost 200 rushing and receiving yards. Not having to face Graham will make things a bit easier for the Lions, but it's not like the Buccaneers have no one to fill in for him.
With leading rusher Earnest Graham out for the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will lean more on Warrick Dunn.
"I expect to play a lot more. But at the same time, we have other guys who can come in and make plays," Dunn said. "I'm just going to do my part to help us move the chains, score touchdowns and win games."
Graham's injury also could mean more playing time for (Cadillac) Williams, who hasn't played in a game since September 2007 because of a serious knee injury.
Tampa Bay will likely use a stable of running backs against the Lions, and I really don't expect them to have a whole lot of trouble on the ground. The Lions' defense has struggled against the run all season long, and it doesn't exactly seem like it matters who the running back is.
Just look at Carolina last week. Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart lit up the Lions thanks mainly to poor tackling. If the Lions can tackle the RB on first contact more times than not, than they hopefully will be able to contain the run game. Based on what I have seen earlier this season, though, I would be surprised if that was the case.