Auburn alumni showdown in trouble?

RB Ronnie Brown

There are two great storylines for Sunday's Dolphins-Bucs matchup in Tampa Bay. But one of them is in jeopardy because of the health of Bucs rookie running back Carnell Williams, who might be forced to miss the game against his former college teammate Ronnie Brown.

All appeared on schedule on Monday when Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said that Williams probably would be listed as probable during the week despite missing last Sunday's game against the Jets.

But Williams has been listed as questionable, with Gruden jokingly apologizing about jumping the gun.

The bottom line is that Williams is banged up, possibly the result of being overused in the first three games when he set an NFL mark for yards at the onset of a career.

But Williams was pulled out of the Week 4 game against Detroit after he pulled his hamstring and now he's got a foot injury on top of that.

Williams himself said Wednesday it was 50-50 he'd able to play on Sunday and he has missed portions of team practice both Wednesday and Thursday.

It would be a shame if Williams had to miss the game because this is a first in NFL history -- running backs from the same college facing each other after both being top five picks in the same year.

Williams and Brown are very tight and there figured to be a friendly wager on the game. For example, they bet a steak dinner on who would be selected first among the two in the draft, and that bet was one by Brown.

Williams said this week he has paid off the bet.

Brown and Williams speak quite regularly, and both have said they would pull for the other one in this game -- as long as it didn't cost their team a victory.

Another guy who was looking forward to this matchup was Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the privilege of coaching both guys.

His team is playing at Arkansas on Saturday and Sunday normally is a busy day for college head coaches, but he said last week he would make it a point to watch the Dolphins-Bucs game.

The return of Ricky Williams will make this a game with a lot of national attention regardless, but it would be a shame if the other subplot was canceled because of Cadillac Williams' health.

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