Garcia still iffy

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia was limited during practice yesterday because of a right calf strain and is listed as questionable for tomorrow's game at Atlanta.

Coach Jon Gruden said he was optimistic Garcia, who missed part of training camp with a similar injury, will be able to play. If he doesn't, the Buccaneers likely would turn to Luke McCown or Brian Griese.

Gruden didn't sound overly concerned that Garcia has been limited in practice this week.

"The guy's a veteran player. We never like to see a guy not practice, particularly at that position, but he's an experienced guy," Gruden said. "He did take some reps (Thursday) and the day before, so he has participated to a degree. This is just a tough situation right now, but we're hopeful he can play."

Garcia was benched following a season-opening loss at New Orleans. He regained the starting job when Griese was injured in Week 5 and has led the Bucs to a 6-2 record since. Last Monday's 38-23 loss to Carolina dropped Tampa Bay (9-4) out of a tie for first place in the NFC South.

Griese hasn't played since hurting his elbow on Oct. 5. However he practised this week and is throwing the ball well.

"In my opinion he was full-go. He looked sharp today and I'm really encouraged to have him back," Gruden said of Griese.

CASSEL MAKES PRACTICE

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- New England quarterback Matt Cassel practiced for a second straight day following the death of his father earlier this week. But the Patriots declined to say if he'll play against Oakland tomorrow.

Coach Bill Belichick addressed the media briefly before yesterday's practice at San Jose State and wouldn't describe Cassel's playing status. "We'll do our thing after practice and let you know," Belichick said.


Videos

Photos