OC Tedford’s return still unclear, may miss opener vs. Carolina

The Buccaneers have still been mum on what ailment has OC Jeff Tedford temporarily incapacitated and have been equally evasive on whether Tedford will be calling plays at this Sunday’s season opener against Carolina.

“When he’ll be back here full-time, I don’t know. When he’ll be available full-time, whether he’ll be able to go this week for the game and all those questions, we don’t have answered right now,” said Head Coach Lovie Smith at Monday’s press conference. “Just know he’s getting better and we’ll see how that all plays out. In the meantime, the rest of our offensive staff will pick up for Jeff similar to how we did the last week, with all of the guys really kind of pitching in.”

Smith would also not disclose who exactly would be calling plays in Tedford’s absence, citing the need for secrecy leading up to the Week 1 matchup.

“Keep in mind right now, I’m going to give very little information from here on out,” Smith said. “We’re [in] game week. Anything we say, someone is listening. We’re going to show up, we’ll have someone calling plays, we feel good about that person calling plays. So I can hit you with that.”

What Smith would say was that Tedford is currently working part-time from outside of One Buc Place and that he had been in visiting the Buccaneers facility over the weekend.

“He was here this weekend, so that’s saying that since he’s had the procedure done, he’s been able to come back here,” Smith said. “Nowadays, like yesterday – I worked from my home quite a bit yesterday – with modern technology, you don’t really have to be here every second to really be getting work done. Jeff is involved in what we’re doing right now, having as much input pretty much as he would have if he was here.”

Whatever Tedford’s involvement in planning for the Buccaneers first game, the team appears to be adjusting to his absence.

“Obviously, Jeff’s been leading our offense through the whole offseason, so any time you take a piece away, there can be some disruption,” QB Josh McCown (#12) said Monday. “But the coaches seem like they are, so far, doing a great job picking up the slack and doing what we need to do.”

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