The Bucs have been waylaid by injuries this season, losing several starters four games into the season. But on Sunday they will finally get some reprieve, as three key players return from injury in Week 5. According to head coach Bruce Arians, CB Jamel Dean, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul and RB Giovani Bernard are all good to go against the Dolphins on Sunday.
“[Dean] is full speed,” Arians said. “He’s fine.”
Dean injured his knee in the first quarter of Week 3 against the Rams. He missed the remainder of the game, and the following week against New England. He should be slated to return to the starting lineup against Miami.
Bucs RB Giovani Bernard – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
And Pierre-Paul, who has been nursing a shoulder injury?
“Yeah, he’s ready to roll,” Arians said.
Pierre-Paul returned to practice this week, but was wearing a substantial club on his right arm. The veteran pass rusher has also been dealing with a finger injury on his right hand, along with the shoulder concern.
“He [played with the club] for a couple years,” Arians said. “So he’ll protect the finger, and the shoulder looks pretty good.”
Expect Pierre-Paul to split reps with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, who has been outstanding in his first two NFL starts. Tryon-Shoyinka’s explosiveness as a pass rusher is something the Bucs can’t afford to take off the field, especially with Pierre-Paul not yet 100 percent. The Pro Bowler will want to play every snap, so Bucs coaches will need to be careful to manage his workload.
As for Giovani Bernard, Arians said the veteran running back, “looks fine” on Friday. Bernard was injured on the final offensive play of the game in Week 3, while scoring a touchdown. He’ll help shoulder some of the load in the backfield on obvious passing downs in Week 5.
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
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.