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On Wednesday, the Bucs announced they have opened the 21-day practice window for 3 players. Linebacker Lavonte David, running back Giovani Bernard and running back Leonard Fournette will all return to practice. Head coach Bruce Arians said earlier this week that he expects Fournette to play on Sunday. David, and perhaps Bernard, will be closer calls depending on how they practice.

The Bucs played without their top three running backs in Week 18, relying on Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell. Wide receiver Scotty Miller was their leading rusher with 43 yards. So getting Fournette and perhaps Bernard back for the Wild Card game against the Eagles is huge. Fournette led the team with 812 rushing yards in 14 games this season. He’s also been their top receiving back, with 69 grabs for 454 yards.

David’s potential return will have fans on pins and needles heading into Sunday. The Bucs star linebacker sprained his foot against the Saints, ending his regular season. Arians has noted his progress, but doesn’t know if David will play this week. The Pro Bowler finished with 97 tackles and two sacks this season. He was playing his best ball when the injury occurred. Without him, the Bucs run defense has struggled.

The pending returns leave the Bucs with only three contributing players on injured reserve without a designation. Backup cornerback Richard Sherman was placed on IR on Tuesday, ending his season. Chris Godwin will not return after knee surgery. But one player who could still be back if the Bucs make a deep run is defensive tackle Pat O’Connor. The Bucs special teams ace was coming on as a rotational pass rusher before a knee injury against New Orleans.

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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
bucballer(@bucballer)
8 days ago

We can use all the horses we can get! Get healthy boys! This is why u play the game.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
8 days ago

Boy, what would it be like to have the whole group of starters on the field at the same time? This is certainly good news … but fans and the team itself can be forgiven for always waiting for the next shoe to drop regarding injuries and playing time. It’s been a very different season in that respect than last year.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
Reply to  Naplesfan
8 days ago

Yet we set a franchise record with 13 wins! Go figure! Strange times indeed! Let’s pluck those feathers on Sunday!

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
8 days ago

The Aint’s were purposefully trying to hurt our players which is why I’m ecstatic that they have to watch the playoffs from their couch. I know we’ve had plenty of injuries this season but the ones from the last game against the Aint’s were so obviously purposeful it was disgusting. Eff that stupid franchise.

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

Wouldn’t be the first time the Saints played that way. I had the same feelings especially with the way Godwin went out.

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
8 days ago

How can the Rams afford to pay Weddle with all the cash going out to players who were there and the ones they recently picked up. Very odd.

Eddie
Eddie(@oct62020)
7 days ago

Are there any words on Grayson’s hamstring injury?

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg