“X-rays came back negative, so he’s fine,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said in his Week 3 postgame press conference.
Arians confirmed that Gronkowski had X-rays for his ribs due to the cringe-worthy hit from Los Angeles Rams linebacker Terrell Lewis in the Bucs’ 34-24 loss. The coach didn’t provide any additional information on how it will affect Gronkowski’s availability for practice and status for the Week 4 game in New England where he once played, Pro Football Talk reported.
Gronkowski caught a six-yard pass in the third quarter when Lewis drilled him. Gronkowski then left the field for the locker room to be examined but eventually returned to action. The Rams had a 21-14 lead at that point in the third quarter.
Gronkowski finished the game with four catches for 55 yards and no touchdowns on seven targets after starting the season red hot. He caught 12 passes for 129 yards and four touchdowns in the first two games.
Despite the down game, Gronkowski owns the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among tight ends 90.2 behind Kansas City’s Travis Kelce’s 92.2.
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Arians Gives Update on Giovani Bernard’s Knee
Bucs running back Giovani Bernard also injured his knee on a seven-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.
“He looks like he’s fine. We’ll see. He might swell on the plane,” Arians said on Sunday. “That’s the worst thing about these types of things is that it’s six hours, or whatever, five hours on a plane. You’re going to swell a bit more than normal.”
Bernard finished with nine catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Secondary Injuries Linger
Tampa walked away from the Rams loss with additional injury concerns besides Gronkowski. Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean injured his knee in the first half, and Arians didn’t offer an update on him, Pro Football Talk reported. Dean didn’t record any tackles before the injury but he nearly made an interception before dropping it.
With Dean down and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting out with an injury, questions about free agent defensive back Richard Sherman surfaced again. The former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers star has talked with the Bucs.
Arians didn’t want to go there at the press conference and drew attention to a couple of recent or current practice squad players instead — Rashard Robinson and Pierre Desir.
“We brought a couple guys in the last couple weeks that have experience, (and) are long, tall corners,” Airans said on Sunday. “They both can play a little man-to-man, and they’re good corners. We’ll see what we’re going to do.”
Arians Reacts to His Sideline Hit
Bernard took down Arians accidentally on the sideline following a reception from quarterback Tom Brady late in the game. Arians fell to the ground with the impact of Bernard colliding into Arians’ knee.
“Yeah, I’m tough,” Arians said, with a slight grin, in response to a reporter asking if he was OK.
Besides a lengthy coaching career, Arians played quarterback in college and Virginia Tech and took his share of hits on the field.