While the Bucs ended up Super Bowl champions after going relatively unscathed with significant injuries, not everything was perfect. Starting OG Alex Cappa and tight end O.J. Howard missed key games on injured reserve and safety Jordan Whitehead played through a painful shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.
Following Saturday’s final day of rookie mini-camp, head coach Bruce Arians updated the media on the status of those three players for the Bucs offseason program.
Head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Howard ruptured his Achilles tendon in a Week 4 victory over the Chargers, but Arians said his road to recovery is going well.
“Yeah. He’s really close now,” Arians said.”He looks fantastic working out every day.”
Cappa broke his leg in the first half of the Bucs playoff win over the Washington Football Team and missed the remainder of the playoffs, but should be good to go for training camp.
“I haven’t seen Cap, he’ll be in soon, but from what I’m hearing he’s working out really, really well and doing well,” Arians said. “I see O.J. every day.”
Starting safety Jordan Whitehead suffered a shoulder injury in Tampa Bay’s win over the Packers, but was able to play through the pain against the Chiefs two weeks later in the Super Bowl.
“I don’t know if I’ll let him go (practice during mini-camp), but he’s looking really good,” Arians said.
There is no question part of the Bucs success in 2020 and their Super Bowl win came down to being fairly healthy during their playoff run. Arians said that relying on the sports science department within the organization was a big part of that.
“A ton. We were one of the [least] injured teams in the league last year because we have such a great group over there,” Arians said. “And I listen to them. It takes a long time to learn how to listen to people. We had a great group in Arizona and heat issues and all those things too, but some injuries they’re going to happen. There were very few soft tissue injuries and things that we had last year strictly due to what they do and how we train.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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