Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount injured the MCL in his knee during a Week Five blowout loss to the 49ers. He missed two games, but he’ll be back on Sunday, when the Bucs meet the Saints again, three weeks after their first meeting of the season.
And with Earnest Graham out for the year after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon during Tampa’s loss to the Bears in London, Blount will be absorbing Graham’s duties as the third-down back.
“Oh yeah, I know I’m going to play third downs in this game,” Blount said Tuesday, per Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times. “I’m probably not going to play all of them, but I know I’m going to play quite a few of them. I’ve shown that I know the protections and I know the routes and everything and I can catch the ball, so that’s going to help us out tremendously. It’s going to let me stay in the game a little bit longer and play a lot more snaps, so I’m excited.”
Even though Blount missed two games with the knee injury, he was expected to be out even longer. “My recovery was a little bit faster than what we thought, so everything is going real well,” Blount said. “It’s looking good for this week.”
Blount’s return to health comes at a great time for the Bucs. “I know it was dire need during the bye week, I listened to it the whole bye week, how we didn’t have anybody healthy on the roster and all that stuff,” coach Raheem Morris said. “It was great. It was awesome. I had every running back in the nation call me to get a job.”
Well, at least Tiki tried.