While very few teams across the league are healthy through fifteen games of an NFL season, the Bucs will head into a week of practice before their Week 17 match-up with the Atlanta Falcons monitoring a number of injuries to impact players on the roster.
Starting running back Ronald Jones II suffered a broken pinky against the Minnesota Vikings that required a minor surgery, putting his status in jeopardy moving forward, but then was forced to miss the Bucs’ next two games after being placed on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list. With Jones being required to stay away from the facility since being placed on the list, head coach Bruce Arians gave an update as to Jones’ potential status for Week 17 on Monday.
“You’re guess is as good as mine still, I haven’t been able to talk to him,” Arians said. “Hopefully he’s clearing the COVID [protocol] and we can get him in the building to look at him and see if he can actually play with [his broken finger.] I’ve got my fingers crossed that we can get him a bunch of game action this week but we’re not going to risk it not being able to protect himself.”
In addition to Jones, Tampa Bay has also seen a number of injuries hit their defensive secondary, including a groin injury suffered in Week 15 to cornerback Carlton Davis that forced the third-year defensive back to miss the Bucs’ game against the Lions. Arians elaborated on the extent of those injuries on Monday as well.
“We’re still sorting through that right now,” Arians said about the other injuries across the Bucs’ roster. “Carlton made some good progress at the end of the week, he didn’t make the trip and we were like, we’re not pushing it. Mike [Edwards] had a hip pointer and we won’t know how serious it is until we get out on the field Wednesday. We rested Sean [Murphy-Bunting], Sean’s been playing with a bunch of nagging stuff. We were able to get him out of the game and Herb Miller got his interception so that was great to see a young guy do it but yeah, we’ll wait and see. 48 hours is a lot of time with the type of injuries that we’re talking about.”
The Bucs’ initial Week 17 injury report will be released on Wednesday following another media availability from Arians that may help shed a little more light on these key injuries as the Bucs’ prepare for their final regular season game on Sunday.