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The Bucs will be missing a number of key starters for their Week 7 game against the Bears. On Friday, Bruce Arians announced that Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Lavonte David and Richard Sherman will all be out. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a chance to play, and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has cleared concussion protocol. He’ll be active on Sunday.

Pierre-Paul had played in the last two games after returning from a shoulder and hand injury, but he did not practice at all this week. At this time of his career, he doesn’t need to be participating as much, and he was in street clothes in Friday’s walkthrough practice.

Gronkowski is still trying to recover from a rib injury that’s kept him out since Week 4. The Bucs kept him off of injured reserved hoping he could bounce back quickly, but that hasn’t been the case. Gronkowski did work out individually on Thursday, running some sprints, so there is some progress.

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today

David suffered an ankle sprain in the Bucs win against Miami and did not play Thursday night in Philadelphia. Arians had his fingers crossed that David would be able to make a return. He was not available for any of the Bucs’ four practices this week.

Sherman played one series last game and was quickly ruled out with a pulled hamstring. He’s expected to be out 2-3 weeks, so his status is expected.

It’s another big game for role players to step up. O.J. Howard and Cam Brate continue their dual role at tight end with Gronkowski out. No Antonio Brown likely means more two tight end sets, especially with Scotty Miller on injured reserve. Wide receiver Tyler Johnson will also see increased reps. Kevin Minter will start his second straight game at linebacker in David’s stead.

The big question of playing time comes at corner. Jamel Dean will start at outside corner and Ross Cockrell in the slot, but the third corner spot is unknown. The Bucs’ coaching staff will decide between Dee Delaney and Pierre Desir. Desir stepped in for Carlton Davis in Week 4, while Delaney filled in for Sherman in Week 6.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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chefboho
chefboho(@chefboho)
1 month ago

Geez that’s an all start hof injury list. Can’t be understated what having the greatest QB of all time can do for a team that’s down lots of talent. At least Winfield is back and healthy. I just wish JPP would sit and heal already. He’s doing this team no good playing at half strength.

DD1406
DD1406(@dd1406)
Reply to  chefboho
1 month ago

The all time great players in any sport will elevate the quality of those around them! The Bucs will be fine this game, and hopefully have every body back for the stretch run!

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1(@aredsoxfan1)
Reply to  chefboho
1 month ago

Right on with the JPP situation. It seems foolish to keep playing him at half-strength. They said the only way he could heal the injury is with rest so let him sit for a month or whatever it takes. The ultimate goal is a SB and having a healthy JPP would help towards that goal so sit him down and bring him back in December.

Eddie
Eddie(@oct62020)
1 month ago

Bear beater Lenny will see a lot of action in this game.

Buc76
Buc76(@jjjj)
1 month ago

We have plenty of talent to win this game handily. We are the defending world champions. We need to dominate the Bears with their rookie quarterback. Brady said he’s never faced an Ohio State quarterback so he’s looking forward to that and winning.

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
1 month ago

Wow 10 days off and still can’t get guys back. Crazy year so far. At least none appear season ending. Winfield back is great. Offense is better with Gronk and Brown for sure though. I’d sit JPP and play Tryon. Let him get healthy it’s need stupid playing him hurt and he’s not been effective just prolonging the injury imo.

76Buc
76Buc(@76buc)
1 month ago

Positive note: With Winfield back, Mike Edwards can play some slot.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
1 month ago

Rest up warriors! U will be needed after break! If we r winning with our depth, then just wait till we get our starters back! It won’t even be fair!

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
1 month ago

It’s all good. Even if we don’t win out before the break it’s important for these guys to heal up. I’d rather them rest and recover fully until the Washington game and be back at full strength instead of rushing back at 75% and being at 75% the rest of the year or be one play away from going back out. It would seem crazy if everyone but maybe SMB isn’t back by Week 10. SMBs elbow dislocation may not seem too bad but injuries like those can be anywhere from nothing to a weird and long recovery. We need… Read more »

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