FEB 2 UPDATE: The Bucs will release their first practice participation report of Super Bowl week on Wednesday, but in the meantime, they had what head coach Bruce Arians described as a bonus walkthrough on Tuesday, per Jenna Laine. Arians told the media Antonio Brown, Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Whitehead, and Lavonte David all took part.
Super Bowl 55 is around the corner, and both teams competing are dealing with injuries to key players ahead of the championship game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs held three practices this past week during the bye after the conference championships. The NFL has both teams submit practice participation reports and then on Friday they submitted a final injury report estimating status if the team were to play on Pro Bowl Sunday.
Let’s go over who some of the key Buccaneers players looking to battle back from injuries are, as well as how their absences could affect the outcome of the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers bye week injury report
Doubtful: WR Antonio Brown (knee), S Jordan Whitehead (shoulder, knee)
Questionable: LB Lavonte David (hamstring), S Antoine Winfield (ankle)
Notable players on in-week report:
How the team’s injuries may affect the Bucs in the Super Bowl
Brown is the only notable offensive player on the injury report and suffered a knee injury in the Divisional Round after making just one catch for 10 yards. While his stats don’t compare to those of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, the veteran wideout began to pick up steam in the back half of the season and has caught five touchdown passes in his last six games. Tampa Bay’s three-headed monster out wide likely won’t be at full strength come Super Bowl Sunday, as Brown didn’t practice at all last week. Kansas City held Evans and Godwin to 11 catches for 147 yards and two scores in one regular-season matchup, while Rob Gronkowski led the team with 106 receiving yards. The Buccaneers’ top two options could have to be in top form without a high-quality decoy and playmaker like Brown in the mix.
Tampa Bay could be missing some big-time playmakers on the defensive end on game day. David, Winfield, and Whitehead rank second, third and fourth in tackles for the Buccaneers, respectively. Every member of the trio has at least a sack and a forced fumble on the year, so it’s clear that each can impact games significantly. Turnovers and pressuring the quarterback are of paramount importance for any team hoping to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs. Missing any number of these starters could weigh heavily on the Buccaneers’ defense.