TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has seen his share of injured players over his long coaching career, but his current Bucs roster is decimated by different ailments, a testament to simply field certain position groups.
In Sunday’s 31-15 Wild Card win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bucs offensive line became the latest victim with injuries to right tackle Tristan Wirfs and also center Ryan Jensen. Wirf’s replacement in the game, Josh Wells, is already dealing with an injury that limited his play.
On Monday, Arians discussed the team’s injury situation during his exclusive ‘Bucs with B.A.’ interview with News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas.
Wirfs suffered an ankle injury and attempted to re-enter the game, lasting one series. Jensen did return to finish the game however Arians says Jensen is extremely sore and probably could not play in a game if it were today.
Both players are likely to be late-week decisions for Sunday’s divisional playoff game at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bucs defensive scheme worked very well for three quarters, limiting Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’ ability to run from the pocket, something he did effectively in the week 6 matchup with the Bucs in Philadelphia.
Arians credited the defensive front seven for containing Hurts, freeing up the secondary to step up against the Eagles passing game.
The play of the day on defense was safety Mike Edwards’ interception of Hurts just before halftime at the Bucs goal line.
Edwards crossed the field to pick up for cornerback Jamel Dean who slipped on the play, leaving his man wide open, had the Eagles scored a touchdown, it would have cut the Bucs lead to 10 points heading into halftime with Philadelphia receiving the third-quarter kickoff.
The Bucs offense carried on without Wirfs, struggling at times in pass protection but the back-up running back duo of Ke’Shawn Vaugh and Giovani Bernard combined for a pair of rushing touchdowns to help the Bucs build a 14-0 lead.
The Bucs will host either the Arizona Cardinals or the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round. Those teams play their Wild Card game Monday night, the first-ever NFL postseason game to take place on a Monday.