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Rice Will Be Back On Sunday Versus Carolina

Oct 31, 2005 7:11 PM EST

Simeon Rice's stay in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' doghouse apparently won't last long.

The flighty defensive end was sent home before Sunday's 15-10 loss at San Francisco. However, coach Jon Gruden reiterated Monday that the three-time Pro Bowl selection will return to the lineup this week against Carolina.

"It's done with. We need Simeon Rice back," Gruden said. "I think he understands that. And we're looking forward to seeing him."

Although the Bucs didn't announce the reason Rice was deactivated Sunday, the team's sacks leader is believed to have missed a team meeting after the club arrived in California on Saturday.

Rice created a stir last year when he said the Bucs suffered from a lack of discipline under Gruden, who did not hold all players accountable for mistakes. Two weeks later, he missed a walk-through but still was allowed to play in Tampa Bay's season finale at Arizona.

Via ESPN