Stop Me If You've Heard This Before: Bucs' Top Incumbent Receiving Threat Dealing With Nagging Pain

Witches and curses be damned.

In 2008, we watched helplessly as Joey Galloway's name popped up on the injury report week in and week out with a bum foot.  His practice time decreased and his gameday productivity fell as well.  However, the Buccaneers were wowed by the emergence of another wideout.....the eating-cheetos-on-the-couch-last-year Antonio Bryant, who blew up with a huge year to make up for Galloway's declining health and production. 

As Galloway hung them up after '08 and Bryant stepped into his shoes as the team's top returning receiving target, Bryant suffered a torn knee meniscus in training camp, leading to his absence in the preseason and for a significant portion of the regular season.  Even when he was active, he was hit-or-miss on being a productive wideout.  His attitude and willingness to play were even called into question by some. 

Once again, out of a dark situation, a guiding light emerged for the Buccaneer offense and their green-as-grass quarterback crop....top-dollar pass-catching TE Kellen Winslow.  Now...it was known that Winslow was a threat in the passing game as evidenced by his previous productivity.  However, the Buccaneers thought they would have the services of AB to complement him, so his ability to produce so well without much help was a pleasant surprise yet again for the Buccaneers. 

Fast forward to June 2010......

Once again the injury bug has managed to gravitate towards the most productive receiver on the Buccaneer roster and nibble at his lower leg.  This time, Winslow's achy knee is the culprit, although it doesn't appear it's a typical, on-the-field injury you see regularly.

No, Winslow's self-proclaimed daily knee pain results, at least right now, from an apparently-recent 6th surgery on his knee, the reasons for which have not been disclosed.  The Times speculated the procedure was possibly to clean up some scar tissue from the previous 5 surgeries, but ,when asked, Winslow refused to get into specifics:

"I'm not going to talk about that,'' Winslow said. "You guys can speculate. It's my sixth one. But you can't stop me, you know what I mean? So I'll be back.''

Winslow did offer the following bit on how he's feeling:

"It feels good. It's just something I deal with every day,'' Winslow said of his right knee. "I'm not going to let these guys down, though...It's an every day thing. It really is. It's not easy, by any means necessary. But I've been through worse and I'll be back and I'll do my job and my thing.''

Sounds like it's something he's been battling for awhile.  If it's scar tissue removal or minor surgery, it doesn't sound like anything major that should keep Buccaneer fans on edge. 

That being said, his absence this summer really doesn't matter regarding his play on the field.  I wouldn't mind him spending some time off that knee and saving as much wear and tear on it as possible.  As long as Kellen is learning Olson's new system and playbook, and is hitting the hell out of the weights with his trainer in San Diego to hopefully improve his blocking, I'm sound as a pound with him missing the remainder of OTAs and minicamp.  It's a long, grueling season, and the Buccaneers can't afford to see his name start to pop up on the injury report in Weeks 11, 12, 13 as questionable with a sore, drained knee.  Stay down and get ready for the fall, K-dub.th

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