He’s played almost every defensive snap for the Bucs this season (97 percent), but now Tampa Bay will have to wait and see if rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is able to suit up for the NFC Championship Game after injuring his ankle last week. Head coach Bruce Arians told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio that Winfield will work out before the contest and be a game-time decision.

Winfield was not listed on the injury report until Thursday, and even then he was a full participant in practice. But on Friday things took a turn, as Winfield was held out of practice and listed as questionable for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. It is unknown when exactly Winfield’s ankle injury occurred.

Winfield had 94 tackles, one interception, three sacks, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles in the regular season, adding a third when he stripped Saints tight end Jared Cook of the ball in a pivotal third quarter play in the divisional playoffs last week.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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6 months ago

Hopefully it’s just throwin the Oackers game plan off a little. I really hope he can go for his sake and ours. He’s part of the Heart and Soul of this Defense!

6 months ago

Yeah, I have a real hard time thinking we come out of this game with a W without Winfield. I know it’s a team game and he’s just one player, but he is definitely a big difference maker on the back end where we are thin to begin with.

6 months ago

Fortunately we have some good depth if he can’t go, Mike Edwards is not too much of a drop off skill wise, he could/should have a good game if call on.