The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut their COVID numbers in half on Monday, activating inside linebacker Kevin Minter from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Wide receiver Antonio Brown remains on the list and Head Coach Bruce Arians said the team is "still waiting" to see when he can return as well.
Minter returns exactly a week after he first landed on the COVID list; Brown joined him in that group two days later. Both players missed the Buccaneers' Week Three loss to the Rams in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Minter is the team's primary backup to starting inside linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White, and he is also a special teams captains and one of the Bucs' most active players in the kick-and-return game. Over the first two weeks of the season he took part in 51 special teams snaps and had two kick-coverage stops. Minter has also filled in ably during two brief absences by White over the past two seasons, starting three games and recording 49 tackles, two passes defensed, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery.
The Buccaneers were down to five receivers for Sunday's game in Los Angeles, as wideout/kick returner Jaydon Mickens was also sidelined with an abdomen injury. A return to action by Brown would help as Arians revealed on Monday that wide receiver Scotty Miller suffered a "pretty severe" turf toe injury on Sunday.
Unvaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 are required to stay away from their teams for a minimum of 10 days. Vaccinated players must immediately quarantine, as well, but can return once they are asymptomatic and have returned two negative tests 24 hours apart.