Buccaneers rule out JPP, Barrett, activate Evans
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without outside linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul on Sunday at the New York Jets, interim head coach Harold Goodwin said Friday.
The Buccaneers also activated wide receiver Mike Evans from the reserve/COVID-19 list and placed punter Bradley Pinion on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Pierre-Paul has been playing through a torn rotator cuff all season and missed last week’s win over the Carolina Panthers because of the injury, while Barrett suffered a sprained ACL and MCL against the Panthers.
“I know he’s banged up,” Goodwin said of Pierre-Paul, who did not practice with the team this week but worked out individually with the training staff. “He’s not a young spring chicken anymore. At the end of the day, we just need to try to take care of him and hopefully he comes back when we touch the playoffs and plays like he did toward the end of last year in that Super Bowl run.”
Goodwin said of Evans, who suffered a hamstring strain in Week 15: “There’s a chance he may play. At the end of the day, it will probably be a game-time decision between myself, [GM] Jason [Licht] and if BA’s [coach Bruce Arians] around, obviously he’ll most likely be a part of that decision as well. But Mike looked good today, so hopefully — we’ll cross our fingers he might be out there.”
Goodwin said that “there’s a chance” Arians could make it back in time to coach Sunday’s game. Arians tested positive for COVID-19, and new rules state that a coach or player can return after a five-day isolation period.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown “might have tweaked [his ankle] a little bit” when he returned last week from his three-game suspension, Goodwin said. Brown previously suffered an ankle injury in Week 6.
“I don’t know the severity of it,” Goodwin said. “But he still has a chance to play on Sunday. Obviously, he’s no spring chicken either, so we’ve got to do a good job taking care of him.”
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