For the second straight day, Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has been at practice returning punts. Fully dressed in pads and his helmet, it’s an encouraging sign that he might be available to play on Sunday. It’s certainly a step in the right direction for the second-year safety after missing the last two games in the league’s concussion protocol. Worth noting: media are only allowed to view the 30-minute warmup period at the beginning of practice.
No Lavonte David, Gronk or Richard Sherman or JPP at practice today. Didn’t see Antonio Brown either.
O.J. Howard was in pads and practicing.
Antoine Winfield Jr. was catching punts again. #Bucs
Winfield’s injury occurred in Week 4 against the New England Patriots. Before he sustained his injury, he was playing his best ball of the season, causing two key turnovers. The first, an interception, and the second, a forced fumble, helped change the dynamic of the game. But what looked to be a turning point in the season for the sophomore safety, ended in an injury that’s sidelined him over two weeks.
Getting Winfield back will be a huge gain for a depleted Bucs secondary. If he is able to play Sunday, Todd Bowles can use safety Mike Edwards in more creative ways. With the rash of injuries at corner, Edwards versatility to play nickel allows the Bucs to have more of their best players on the field.
Wednesday’s injury report will tell a better picture of his pending availability. His progress, however, is an encouraging sight for a banged-up Bucs defense. The Bucs host the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
Before his injury, Winfield had 25 tackles, two pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. His rookie season he logged 94 tackles, one for a loss, four QB hits, three sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. The former second round pick capped off a strong year in the playoffs. Winfield made 18 tackles, two for a loss, an interception and a forced fumble.
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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