For those hoping there was some sort of pathway for Bucs middle linebacker Devin White to be able to play in Tampa Bay’s first playoff game next Saturday night at Washington, head coach Bruce Arians essentially shut that down on Monday in his day-after-game press conference.
“It looks that way right now (that White is out),” Arians said. “(I) was not overly excited about that (playing on Saturday versus Sunday) and it looks like it could potentially cost us a couple of players that would (be able to) play on Sunday. And we are still hoping but..”
The other player Arians is referring to is nose tackle Steve McLendon, who was signed following Vita Vea’s leg injury against the Bears.
NFL COVID protocols call for a positive player to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, and next Sunday would make the 10th day since White and McClendon’s positive tests.
The Saints, who had to sit their entire running back room in their game against the Panthers on Sunday after Alvin Kamara tested positive last week, caught a break by having their first playoff game scheduled for Sunday. Due to playing a day later than the Buccaneers, Kamara and his running back teammates will be able to suit up on Sunday against the Bears.
The Buccaneers expect Shaq Barrett, who also missed the season finale against the Falcons, to be able to rejoin the team this week and play on Saturday against Washington. Barrett has reportedly not tested positive, but was classified as a close contact, keeping him off the field on Sunday.
“Shaq will be back. Not sure about [McLendon] yet,” according to Arians.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org