The biggest game of the 2021 regular season looms for the Bucs on Sunday, as they travel to Los Angeles to face the undefeated Rams. But Tampa Bay will compete without outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul or wide receiver Jaydon Mickens, after Bruce Arians ruled out both players on Friday.
“Not making the trip this week will be JPP (Pierre-Paul) and ‘Mick’ (Mickens),” Arians said. “Both will be out this week.”
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians says that JPP and Jaydon Mickens are out for Sunday's game.
Mickens left the second half of the Bucs Week 2 contest with a hip injury. In his place, rookie Jaelon Darden is likely to be active for the first time. Darden flashed as a punt returner in preseason action, but struggled on kickoffs. It remains to be seen if Darden will handle the starting returner duties. Scotty Miller and Antoine Winfield Jr. will also garner consideration.
On defense, first round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will get his first NFL start. In just eight pass rush opportunities on Sunday against Atlanta, Tryon-Shoyinka picked up three pressures. He’s looked dynamic in his brief NFL career, but veteran Anthony Nelson will see a share of snaps as well. Neither can replicate Pierre-Paul’s all-around impact, but Tryon-Shoyinka’s pass rush ability may make up for it.
In addition to Pierre-Paul and Mickens, Arians added that WR Antonio Brown and LB Kevin Minter are “very questionable” to play on Sunday. Both players remain on the COVID list.
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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