As the Bucs gear up for the playoffs, they will potentially get some key players back for their run. The team has been without running back Leonard Fournette on offense since injuring his hamstring in Week 15. In the same game, linebacker Lavonte David suffered a foot injury and was subsequently placed on injured reserve with Fournette.

Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul missed the Week 16 game due to multiple ailments. Meanwhile, Shaq Barrett went down with a knee injury just before the half and is now on the team’s reserve/COVID list. All hope is not lost though. In fact, head coach Bruce Arians is focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Hopefully, we’ll have almost everybody back defensively next week,” Arians said. “So we’ll wait and see how that goes.”

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

That includes running back Leonard Fournette as well. But Arians is not as quite sure about his running mate, Ronald Jones.

“I’m pretty sure Lenny will be ready to go, but we’ll have to wait and see about RoJo’s ankle,” Arians said. “He can run straight, but he still can’t cut.”

Jones injured his ankle in the Bucs win over the New York Jets in Week 17. Second-year back Ke’Shawn Vaughn will start in his stead in the team’s regular season finale against the Panthers on Sunday. However it shakes out, the Bucs have built solid depth throughout the season. Getting key contributors back for the postseason will just increase Tampa Bay’s chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions.

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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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Horse
Horse(@horse)
10 days ago

Is JPP really coming back next? I didn’t get that feeling?

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  Horse
9 days ago

Even if he does he still has a torn rotator cuff. I really don’t think he is going to make much of an impact in the playoffs. Hopefully Troyinka will find some sacks like Nelson has been doing.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  drdneast
9 days ago

Do they line Up JPP on the opposite side of his torn rotator?

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
10 days ago

Honestly, we can be just fine with the players we will have, it just depends on how the Coordinators use them. If Leftwich doesn’t change anything and tries to just plug and play we will struggle, if he adjusts with schemes that benefit our receivers that don’t have the kind of experience with timing and decision making that Godwin and Brown did and give them more designed routes then things should be just fine. I’ve seen Grayson and Johnson and even Darden make some great catches, so scheme them open. On Defense Bowles needs to adjust to the opponent like… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  Spitfire
9 days ago

You just exposed all of Lefty’s weak points.His biggest problem is scheming players open and his predictable play calling. He keeps up with those blunders by going long with risky shots on third and short plays when they need to keep posession.

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  drdneast
9 days ago

The results are meaningless.

Billy
Billy(@sundaystuds)
10 days ago

Really good news. Heard a lot of negative comments about our play lately but injuries can’t be over mentioned. Not long ago D White said you are about to see a championship defense before a rash of injuries. I think they KNOW what to do and WHY they are doing it now so we plug and play baby.
Fournette is HUGE.
Really excited about Vaughn If he produces, he could really shine in the playoffs This team has a lot of GREAT players so don’t mail it in yet

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  Billy
9 days ago

Vaughn had a good game last week before being injured and made a concerted effort to catch the ball. Hopefully he is getting his sea legs under him.

Eddie
Eddie(@oct62020)
10 days ago

I think Bell, Perriman and Grayson will positively surprise us in this game. Just hope everyone exit this game healthy ready for playoffs

WVBuc
WVBuc(@wvbuc)
10 days ago

RoJo can’t cut on his ankle? Since when do the Bucs care about a player’s ankles? They don’t need ankles in retirement so RoJo will get his ass on the field or they’ll slash his throat. Really, who do these guys think they are playing for?

MIArmysoldier
MIArmysoldier(@miarmysoldier)
Reply to  WVBuc
10 days ago

To soon…lol…to soon.

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  WVBuc
9 days ago

Wow, thank you Capt. Sarcasm.

plopes808
plopes808(@plopes808)
9 days ago

Getting healthy at the right time!

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
9 days ago

Do you folks really think a coach can take a couple of street free agents and turn them into Pro Bowl caliber players with a “scheme”?