It came down to the wire, but the Bucs are activating two players off injured reserve ahead of their Wild Card matchup. Linebacker Lavonte David and running back Giovani Bernard rejoined the active roster on Saturday. Both players are available to play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. In a surprising twist, Leonard Fournette will remain on IR and miss the Wild Card contest.

The Bucs waived cornerback Rashard Robinson and wideout Justin Watson to open necessary roster spots. Robinson was a good special teamer, but was banged up a few times this season. Watson missed most of the season with a knee injury. In recent weeks, the receiver was struggling through a quad injury.

Analyzing Bucs Moves

Don’t get too excited yet. Just because David and Bernard are active doesn’t mean they’ll play. On Friday, head coach Bruce Arians said David and Fournette would essentially be game time decisions for the Bucs. Obviously, Fournette is now out against the Eagles.

“There are about four game time decisions for the guys that are coming off IR or have been out,” Arians said. “We’ll have to see on the field Sunday before the game. Lavonte will be the most questionable.”

With Ronald Jones already ruled out, Fournette’s loss is a blow to the offense. Especially against an Eagles pass defense that gives so much room underneath to running backs. However, Bernard offers another reliable set of hands, as well as a capable pass blocker. He’ll combine with Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell to carry the load.

Meanwhile, David will help a struggling run defense unit and be an asset in coverage against Eagles’ tight end Dallas Goedert. If he plays, of course. David has progressed nicely, but will likely work out on the field before Sunday’s game. That workout will determine his availability.

Only five players remain on the Bucs injured reserve: Fournette, WR Chris Godwin, CB Richard Sherman, DT Pat O’Connor and OG Sadarius Hutcherson. Tampa Bay also made a move on their practice squad on Saturday. The Bucs elevated tight end Codey McElroy and running back Kenjon Barner to the active roster for Sunday.

The Bucs host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 1pm EST.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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chefboho
chefboho
5 months ago

The bad luck continues. I was really hoping to have Fournette but having Gio helps. We just need the defense to step their game up and help the offense out till hopefully next week when we can get some of these guys back. Hoping David can play as well

bucballer
bucballer
5 months ago

FOURnette is disappointing! Thought he would play! As for WR Watson getting released, well I expected such. Stated so in earlier posts. Guys always injured. Wish him well though. We gotta play with what we have. Let’s do this!

BucRN
BucRN
Reply to  bucballer
5 months ago

I’m confused here. I thought He played in all but two games this season. It isn’t disappointing at all. This could completely be a coaches decision to give him another week off if they are confident the current RB room is adequate enough to help defeat Philly. I’d rather give him a set of fresh legs.

Horse
Horse
5 months ago

Good news; it’s a step forward.

twspin
twspin
5 months ago

Man..Playoff Lenny is now Layoff Lenny huh? All week long they had us thinkin he was gonna be ready. Well then…next man up. If we can get by Philly, I know he will be ready for the next game. Don’t worry, I go the O line opening up holes bigtime. The ship must sail with what we got.

BucRN
BucRN
Reply to  twspin
5 months ago

I’m sure it was a ploy to get Philly game planning against him instead of the other 3. It’s smart. Teams do it all the time.

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1
5 months ago

Hoping Bernard is fully healthy. He’s been under-utilized all year. Maybe he can come up big in the post-season.

plopes808
plopes808
5 months ago

Time for playoff Gio to shine

fredster
fredster
Reply to  plopes808
5 months ago

Yes hope so but honestly I haven’t seen much from him exciting thus far.

fredster
fredster
5 months ago

Ugh no No Lenny makes this harder. I can’t believe our RB’s going into playoffs are Bell, Vaughn, and Gio. Lol. Two over the hill guys and under achieving young one. Doesn’t give me lot of confidence. Hope Levonte, and Shaq both play and close to 100%. This game might be a grind.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
5 months ago

Fournette being out won’t matter. Bell, Bernard and Vaughn can catch, but if I’m Lefty, I’m trusting Bell to play the most.

Dave
Dave
5 months ago

There comes a point where the injuries are just too much to overcome. I think we’re dangerously close to that point. Brady can only do so much. Unless the defense turns back the clock to the playoff run last year, this could be a 1 and done. So unfortunately, I’m predicting the major upset. Eagles win 27-24. Really solid season. But the injuries just became too much

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

31-17 Bucs

Eagles are lucky to be in the playoffs. They won’t get needed help from the weather. They won’t get calls from refs. They are overmatched in every matchup.

No upsets yesterday. No upsets today.