Bruce Arians left no doubt on his plans for where he will coach in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills despite recovery from an Achilles inflammation.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach confirmed on Friday, December 10, that he will coach from the sidelines against the Bills. Arians will wear a boot and have a scooter, Greg Auman of The Athletic reported.
“Oh yeah, I’ll be there. Pissed off, but I’ll be there,” Arians told the media.
Arians injured his Achilles around the time of the Atlanta game on Sunday, Dec. 5, which became noticeable when he limped off the field. He then appeared at practice on Wednesday, Dec. 8, with a walking boot and scooter.
It didn’t come as a total surprise since Arians told the media on Monday, December 6, about the injury.
“Not very good. I inflamed my Achilles running too much trying to get back in shape and it’s not feeling too good,” Arians said.
Bucs Getting Healthy Elsewhere
Tampa Bay got its long snapper Zach Triner back from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, and another two players cleared concussion protocol on Saturday. Cornerback Jamel Dean and wide receiver Jaleon Darden cleared concussion protocol according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.
Triner played last Sunday and simply tested negative for COVID-19 twice to get back on the field. Darden hasn’t played since November 22 against the New York Giants. Dean sustained a concussion at Atlanta.
The Bucs secondary looks healthier overall going into Sunday’s game against Buffalo. Cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis III have both returned from injury in the past month.
Fellow corner Richard Sherman, who the Bucs activated on Friday, could play if necessary, which may mean time at safety. The Bucs come into the Week 14 clash down two safeties — Jordan Whitehead due to a calf injury and Mike Edwards due a suspension over a fake COVID-19 vaccine card.
Cross training has been the reality for the Bucs secondary due to a slew of injuries all season.
“We cross-train a lot of guys for emergency purposes with the way our secondary has been going down,” Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said on Thursday, December 9. “Right now, it seems to be we are cross-training everybody.”
Overall, the Bucs only have two defensive players listed as questionable or out for Sunday’s game. Defensive end William Gholston, who is questionable with a knee injury, is the only other besides Whitehead.
Mystery in the Middle for Bucs?
Center Ryan Jensen missed the first two days of practice this week due to an ankle injury, but he came back on Friday to practice in limited capacity.
“Ryan is tough. I knew he’d be back,” Arians told the media on Friday. “It’s great to see it though.”
The Bucs still have Jensen listed as questionable for the Bills game, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich made it more ambiguous on Thursday before Jensen practiced on Thursday.
“I mean we would have to do what we have to do,” Leftwich told the media. “Like I tell you, we have confidence in everybody that’s here. We’ll have to see on game day what happens with that, but we’ll see.”