I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that if you ask the Tampa Bay Buccaneers what their idea of the perfect Christmas present is, 100% of the answers would be a win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Unfortunately, 100% of the 53-man roster won’t be available to help make that happen.
The Buccaneers ruled out multiple starters on Friday and the names ranged from cornerback Jamel Dean, to defensive tackle Vita Vea and offensive tackle Donovan Smith.
Those weren’t the only players ruled out, either. Reserve outside linebackers Carl Nassib and Genard Avery won’t play, either. Avery was also placed on injured reserve, which is what allowed the Buccaneers to sign wide receiver Deven Thompkins to the active roster.
Multiple Buccaneers are listed as questionable, as well. But the two most important names are arguably Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr. Both players play crucial roles in the secondary and also provide a solid presence in the run game.
Edwards’ situation is the most intriguing because he wasn’t listed on the injury report until Friday. Typically, that means something flared up, there was soreness, or some other development arose that complicated his availability for Sunday.
Either way, the Buccaneers have a plan for him, regardless of how much he plays.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling,” Todd Bowles told reporters Friday. “Obviously, if he’s feeling well he’ll be full-throttle. If he’s not, he’ll still be on that pitch count.”
And Winfield Jr. will be a game-time decision, per Bowles.
“We’ll see on Sunday morning,” Bowles told reporters Friday when asked about the chances of Winfield Jr. playing against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will also be without a couple of key starters, themselves. Defensive lineman Zach Allen and cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. were both ruled out on Friday, as well.
Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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