BEARS 7 Michael Pittman remained face down on the turf with just under two minutes to go and Tampa Bay's improving ground game suddenly looked like it might be in trouble again.
Mike Alstott had already been helped from the field with a sprained right knee and Pittman, the star in Sunday's 19-7 victory over the Chicago Bears, appeared to be injured seriously when he was dragged down awkwardly for a four-yard loss.
Turns out it was only a scare.
Despite being bothered by back spasms, Pittman rushed for a season-high 109 yards and one touchdown.
He also had a 46-yard reception, setting up a field goal as the Bucs (2-5) won a matchup of teams desperately needing to jump-start disappointing seasons.
"I needed to be in the game," Pittman said after limping off to a standing ovation. "It was hurting bad, but I thought my team needed me."
Brian Griese threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Michael Clayton and Martin Gramatica kicked a pair of 22-yard field goals for Tampa Bay, which rushed for a season-best 138 yards.
Pittman became the fourth back in six games to top the century mark against the Bears (1-5).