Coming out of Week 12, the Bucs were looking at a handful of potentially significant injuries. Once again, however, the team seems to have avoided major injuries to key players. Head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the media on Monday, providing an update on several wounded Bucs. One player the team will likely be without for awhile is backup guard Aaron Stinnie, who went down early with a knee injury.

“I doubt Stinnie [will be available this week],” Arians said. “We’ll see. He’s in an MRI this morning.”

Stinnie got his first start of the season on Sunday, replacing the injured Ali Marpet. But the Bucs guard lasted just 10 plays before bowing out. He was replaced by Nick Leverett, who saw his first ever NFL regular season action. Marpet was dealing with an oblique strain, and should have a good chance to play this week against Atlanta.

Bucs ILB Devin White

Bucs ILB Devin White – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs also lost Devin White with a hip injury in the first half against the Colts. White entered the game already less than 100 percent due to an injured quad. But the star linebacker returned in the second half to finish the game.

“Devin, we’ll see,” Arians said. “We’ll limit him Wednesday and Thursday and see what he can do. He did finish the game. He wasn’t Devin. But he did finish the game and gutted it out.”

White finished the contest with three tackles.

The most concerning injury exiting Sunday’s victory was to cornerback Jamel Dean. The third-year defensive back suffered a shoulder injury during a first quarter tackle. Dean did not return to the game. Afterward, Arians said that the injury was “not very good”. But on Monday, the Bucs head coach was singing a different tune.

“Dean, he’s a wait-and-see guy with a bruised shoulder,” Arians said. “Doesn’t look like there is any structural damage. So it’s just gonna be a pain tolerance thing.”

The Bucs could get Carlton Davis back from injured reserve this week against the Falcons. That would give the team their starting cornerbacks back in the lineup for the first time since Week 1. The Bucs still have yet to play a snap this season with their entire starting secondary on the field together.

If Dean can’t play, Murphy-Bunting would likely remain outside, leaving the nickel spot open for Mike Edwards. The third-year safety has assumed the nickel role over the past three weeks and played well, sending Ross Cockrell to the bench. But Edwards didn’t escape Sunday’s victory unscathed either.

“Mike Edwards bruised his knee on that kickoff return tackle,” Arians said. “We’ll wait and see on him.”

Tampa Bay also lost return man Jaelon Darden against the Colts as well. The rookie went down in the second half and entered concussion protocol. Last week, the Jaguars nabbed backup returner Jaydon Mickens off the Bucs practice squad. Still, Arians made it clear the team has a plan B in place if Darden can’t play.

“He’s in the protocol,” Arians said. “We’ll just wait and see how it goes. Obviously if he clears the protocol, he’ll be the guy back there.  If not, Gio [Bernard] would take over the kickoff return, and Scotty Miller would probably do the punt returns.”

The Bucs return to action on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

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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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bucballer
1 month ago

So my question is about playing injured players. LB White went out with an injury. Later, he returned to play only to have BA say he wasn’t himself. At what point do u not play an injured player when the back up would be a better choice and actually might play better? We seen it yesterday with White but continue to see it with JPP and his multiple injuries. Is Coach saying essentially that an injured starter is still a better choice than his able bodied back up?

Ir8Pir8
Reply to  bucballer
1 month ago

Depends on how injured the starter is and how good the depth is. Is a Devin White at 80% still better than his backup? At 60%? Maybe. Critically, Devin White is the “green dot” player on defense. That means he’s the one guy on defense who receives the radio communication from the sideline and makes sure everyone is ready to play. So, if he comes off the field, not only do you lose his playmaking ability, but you also essentially have to replace that with someone with much less on-field experience and synergy with the defense calling the plays —… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Ir8Pir8
bucballer
Reply to  Ir8Pir8
1 month ago

Point taken. But we do have a reliable “green dot” replacement ready should White go out. It’s Lavonte David who used to have the “green dot” and has much more experience than White. So, not pulling an injured player, who BA said himself that White wasn’t himself out there because he has the “green dot” is not an adequate excuse to not pull him if he can’t move around like he is accustomed to. I think he was a liability out there after the hip injury giving he had a hammy issue to boot. With JPP, I just don’t understand… Read more »

Horse
1 month ago

Scotty Miller I hope is the return man.

chefboho
1 month ago

Hope for a speedy recovery for these fellas. I will say that at this point Darden shouldn’t be returning punts. Has he ever made it past the 15 yard line without tripping or going straight down at the nearest sign of contact. He just seems too small to handle the NFL at this point. I hope I’m wrong, but id rather have Scotty miller back there

German Buc
Reply to  chefboho
1 month ago

Doesn’t he have the longest punt return this season?

Joseph
Reply to  German Buc
1 month ago

I think he does but hasn’t done anything else besides that one return. I’ve seen him get tripped up by blades of grass quite a few times.

plopes808
1 month ago

These injuries have been as nerve racking as Sunday’s game