The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense will be closer to full strength for their Divisional Round matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.
Linebacker Devin White and defensive lineman Steve McLendon were activated from the reserve/COVID list on Monday, the team announced. Both White and McLendon have missed the Bucs’ last two games while on the list, including this past Saturday’s wild-card win over the Washington Football Team.
White’s availability is crucial for the Bucs as they head into New Orleans to face their NFC South rival. Arguably their best player on defense, the second-year LB led the Bucs with 140 tackles this season and notched nine sacks while adding 15 tackles for loss. McLendon adds much-needed depth to a Bucs D-line that lost Vita Vea during the year. Acquired from the Jets in October, McLendon has contributed 17 tackles and two tackles for loss.
White landed on the reserve/COVID list after testing positive on January 1st. McLendon, along with LB Shaquil Barrett were deemed high-risk close contacts in the wake of White’s positive test. Barrett was cleared to play just in time to play in the Wild Card Round. The Buccaneers have no remaining players on the reserve/COVID list.
On the other side of the ball, coach Bruce Arians told reporters running back Ronald Jones (quad) didn’t feel right before Saturday’s game. “We’ll wait and see,” Arians said regarding Jones’ availability for Sunday. Arians also revealed that starting right guard Alex Cappa will miss the rest of the rest of the playoffs after fracturing his ankle on Saturday. Third-year G Aaron Stinnie will take his place.
Here’s other injury and roster news we’re tracking on Monday:
- Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters that right tackle Jack Conklin (hamstring), guard Michael Dunn (calf) and cornerback Robert Jackson (hamstring) are all day to day.
- The Miami Dolphins have signed running back Jordan Scarlett to a futures deal, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports, per his agent. Scarlett, who played at the University of Florida, stays close to home.
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