After Friday's practice at the AdventHealth Training Center, Head Coach Bruce Arians said veteran cornerback Richard Sherman was "scheduled to play" on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Less than an hour later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers removed the last obstacle to Sherman's return to action, activating him from injured reserve.
The Bucs still had an open spot on the 53-man roster after they activated long-snapper Zach Triner from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday morning so no corresponding move was needed to activate Sherman.
Sherman was placed on injured reserve on November 17 after he suffered a calf injury during warmups before the Buccaneers' Week 10 game at Washington. He had been attempting to return from a hamstring strain that had kept him out of the two previous contests, as well. Sherman first signed with the Buccaneers on September 29 and he stepped immediately into the starting lineup amid a rash of injuries for the team at the cornerback position. In his three starts, the 11th-year veteran contributed 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Sherman began practicing with the team on Wednesday, opening a 21-day window during which he could be activated at any time. He has begun cross-training at safety to help with the Bucs' current shortage at the position but Arians said he hoped Sherman would not be needed in that capacity on Sunday.
Sherman played his first seven seasons in Seattle before joining the San Francisco 49ers in 2018. He has played in 142 games with 136 starts and amassed 495 tackles, 36 interceptions and 115 passes defensed. He is the NFL's active leader in interceptions and he had three picks and 11 passes defensed in 2019, his last full season. Sherman has been named to the Pro Bowl five times, most recently in 2019, and has been a first-team Associated Press All-Pro on three occasions.