It appears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not have to rely on a hastily arranged set of new specialists when the face the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday. On Friday, the team activated punter Bradley Pinion, placekicker Ryan Succop and long-snapper Zach Triner from the reserve/COVID-19 list and all three returned to practice in the morning.
Pinion, Succop and Triner had all been placed on that list on Tuesday. Players are placed on that list either for testing positive for the virus or for having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. It is clear that all three of the Bucs' specialists have since tested negative on multiple occasions.
While the Buccaneers had prepared a contingency plan to have replacements available on Sunday, they are surely pleased to have their incumbent specialists back, as all three are performing at a high level.
Succop has made 24 of his 26 field goal attempts this season and ranks eighth in the NFL among qualifying kickers with a 92.3% success rate. He has made each of his last 20 attempts, including field goals of 19 and 48 yards in last Sunday's win over Minnesota. Succop ranks sixth in the NFL with 110 points.
Pinion is tied for 12th in the NFL with a net punting average of 41.5 yards to go along with his gross average of 45.6 yards. He has been especially effective over the Buccaneers' last three games, with a gross average of 50.3 yards, a net of 45.4 yards, four punts inside the 20 and two kicks of more than 60 yards. Pinion also leads the NFL with 67 touchbacks on kickoffs and is fourth with a kickoff touchback rate of 85.9%.
Triner has handled all of the Buccaneers' long-snapping duties on kickoffs and punts without incident this season. He has also contributed two kick-coverage tackles.