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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updates: November 2022

Keep informed with our daily updates: News, notes and more throughout the month of November

November 28 Updates

The Buccaneers appear to have avoided the worst-case scenario regarding All-Pro tackle Tristan Wirfs, who was carted off the field in overtime on Sunday after suffering an apparent injury to his left leg. On Monday, Head Coach confirmed that Wirfs' injury is to his ankle, not his knee, and that will apparently be a pain tolerance issue at some point. Bowles said he does not think Wirfs will be able to play next Monday againt the Saints.

"He's got a high-ankle sprain," said Bowles. "So it will be as-tolerated, so we'll see how it goes from week to week."

Wirfs made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team Associated Press All-Pro in 2021, and he was performing a at a very high level again in 2022. While he is out, the Buccaneers will be done to just one player from an offensive line that was one of the league's best last season, with Donovan Smith still holding down left tackle. Pro Bowler Ali Marpet retired and is currently being replaced at left guard by Nick Leverett. Alex Cappa left in free agency and the Bucs traded for Shaq Mason to fill his spot at right guard. And second-year man Robert Hainsey has taken over at center for injured Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen. Now the Bucs will need a temporary replacement for Wirfs, which is likely to be either Josh Wells or Brandon Walton. Both Wells and Walton made starts at left tackle earlier this season when Smith was sidelined by an injury.

"We've got to find ways to get it done," said Bowles. "Last year it was the defense, this year it's the offense. We have to find ways to get it done. Like I said, we keep people on this team for a reason. They have to click. They're different types of players. I'm not saying they're the same caliber, but they do some things well and we've got to make sure we do the things that they do well."

Bowles also noted that defensive backs Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle sprain), Mike Edwards (contusion) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (contusion) all came out of Sunday's game with new injuries and would be monitored "day by day" this week. Bowles said he did not know yet if Winfield would be able to play next Monday.

November 26 Updates

The Buccaneers listed starting running back Leonard Fournette as doubtful to play in Sunday's game on their week-ending injury report on Friday. On Saturday, all doubt was removed.

Still recovering from a hip pointer sustained in Week 10 in Munich, Fournette did not make the trip with the team to Cleveland on Saturday and thus was downgraded to out. This will be the first game the sixth-year back has sat out since the Buccaneers' Wild Card round win over Philadelphia in last year's playoffs. He currently leads the team in 2022 in rushing yards (462), yards from scrimmage (777) and total touchdowns (six).

Rookie Rachaad will presumably get the start in Fournette's place and will be backed up by Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard, the latter of whom was just activated from injured reserve on Saturday. White recorded his first career 100-yard game in Week 10, carrying 22 times for 105 yards in the Bucs' 21-16 win over Seattle.

CLICK HERE for the Buccaneers' updated injury report.

November 25 Updates

Vita Vea, who missed the first two practices of the week due to a foot injury, was on the field for the portion of practice open to the media on Friday and Head Coach Todd Bowles said the Pro Bowl lineman is progressing in the right direction.

"He's getting better and better," said Bowles. "Hopefully with a few more days rest we'll look for him on Sunday to work out and see what he can do."

The Buccaneers' most recent game was in Munich in Week 10, but Bowles said Vea was not injured during that win over Seattle. The injury also did not occur as the result of working out.

"I think he hurt himself when we got back here. I don't think it was in Munich, I think it was a freak thing that came up. He woke up one day and it was hurting."

CLICK HERE to view this week's injury report, which will be updated with game-status designations later on Friday.

November 24 Updates

On Monday, rookie running back Rachaad White said that "life is about opportunities." There's a good chance White is going to be getting more of those in the coming weeks.

White ran 22 times in the Bucs' Week 10 win over Seattle and produced his first 100-yard game, getting to 105. The key to his breakout was the belief by the coaching staff that he is now ready to handle a heavier load. Offensive Coordinator said it has been a process to get him to that point during the season. White was on the field for a career-high 48 snaps in that game, out of a total of 75 for the team.

"I think it was excellent to see him go out there and play an extended number of snaps," said Leftwich. "He played an extended number of snaps, the most snaps he's played. I don't know if he was ready for that many earlier [in the season]. We saw the gifts that he had early but we knew…we're here with him every day so we knew we had to get him to the point where he would be able to handle that type of load. He's there now, so it's good to see. It was good to see him go out and play and show the skillset that he's got and the skillset that we like."

The Buccaneers may need more from White right away, as starter Leonard Fournette has been limited in practice so far this week due to a hip pointer sustained in Week 10.

"He's pretty sore – we'll see how the week goes," said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Wednesday. "If he progresses and gets better to where he can run full speed, then he'll play – if not, then he won't."

CLICK HERE for an extensive preview of Sunday's game in Cleveland, including more on the Bucs' backfield situation.

Week 12 Updates

Running back Leonard Fournette suffered a hip pointer in the Buccaneers' Week 10 win over the Seahawks in Munich and, even after a bye week to rest, he's still feeling the effects. After practice on Wednesday, Head Coach Todd Bowles said the team would have to monitor Fournette's progress during the week in regards to if he'll be able to play in Cleveland on Sunday.

"He's sore right now," said Bowles. "I mean, he's pretty sore. We'll see how the week goes. If he progresses and gets better to where he can run full speed, then he'll play. If not, then he won't."

Fournette is the Buccaneers' leading rusher with 462 yards and three touchdowns on 135 carries, and he has also caught 43 passes for 315 yards and three more scores, giving him a team-high total of 777 yards from scrimmage. He carried 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown against Seattle before leaving the game in the second with his injury. That contributed to a season-high 161 rushing yards for Tampa Bay, with rookie Rachaad White running 22 times for 105 yards and his first NFL 100-yard game.

CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles thoughts on Wednesday.

November 21 Updates

While running back Giovanni Bernard returned to practice on Monday, he still remains on injured reserve (he can be activated at any point in the next three weeks). Three other players who missed the Buccaneers' most recent game in Munich in Week 10 but are on the active roster, also got back in the mix to start Week 12. Wide receiver Russell Gage, guard Luke Goedeke and inside linebacker J.J. Russell all took part in the portion of practice that was open to the media.

Gage has missed the Buccaneers last three games due to a hamstring ailment. Goedeke has been out for the same amount of time due to a foot injury. Russell, who also suffered a hamstring strain, has missed just one contest.

The Buccaneers conducted a "bonus practice" on Monday coming off their bye week. They are not required to put out an official injury report until after Wednesday's practice.

November 10 Updates

The Buccaneers won't put out their final injury report of the week until Friday, after they've arrived in Munich and held one more practice, but there are at least three players who will definitely be ruled out for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Wide receiver Russell Gage (hamstring), guard Luke Goedeke (foot) and inside linebacker J.J. Russell (hamstring) will all remain in Tampa as the team sets off for Germany on Thursday afternoon.

The Buccaneers notified the league and the Seahawks of their plans not to bring Gage, Goedeke and Russell with them to Germany at the same time they released the Thursday update to the injury report. That report showed wide receiver Julio Jones as a full participant in practice after he was held out on Wednesday. Quarterback Tom Brady only took part in a limited fashion as a rest day and guard Nick Leverett was held out due to illness.

CLICK HERE for the Bucs' full Thursday injury report.

November 9 Updates

The Buccaneers are hopeful that Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield Jr. can return to game action soon, but he'll have to completely clear the NFL's concussion protocol. That has yet to occur.

"No, not yet he isn't," Head Coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Winfield did take part in the portion of practice open to the media on Wednesday. Whether or not he was still limited, as was the case last Thursday and Friday, will be revealed on the Buc's first injury report of the week later in the day. The third-year safety has missed the Bucs' last two games after suffering a concussion in the second half of the team's Week Seven loss at Carolina. The five progressive steps in the concussion protocol are: symptom-limited activity, aerobic exercise, football-specific exercise, club-based non-contact training drills, full football activity/clearance. Winfield would seem to be nearing the end of that list, but players trying to return from a concussion must be able to practice without developing further symptoms.

Helmet Roster Move 2

November 8 Updates

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers changed out one spot on their 16-man practice squad on Tuesday, signing first-year outside linebacker Charles Snowden and releasing rookie outside linebacker JoJo Ozougwu.

Snowden originally entered the league in 2021 as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia, signing with the Chicago Bears. He spent his entire rookie season on Chicago's practice squad but was activated several times for game days and appeared in two regular-season contests. He went back to training camp with the Bears this summer but was waived during the final roster cuts.

Ozougwu, who played his college ball at Arkansas State, signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in May. He started training camp with the team but was waived with an injury settlement in mid-August. He had been re-signed to the practice squad just last week.

CLICK HERE to view the Buccaneers' updated roster.

November 4 Updates

The Buccaneers' secondary has been without Carlton Davis for two games and Sean Murphy-Bunting for three but could be getting both veteran cornerbacks back on the field this Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Rams.

Davis and Murphy-Bunting are officially listed as questionable for the Bucs' Week Nine game, but it's certainly encouraging that both players were full participants in all three practices this week. Davis signed a lucrative multi-year contract in the offseason to remain in Tampa and started the first six games before being sidelined by a hip injury. Murphy-Bunting, who has been held back by a quad injury, did not start any of his first five games but could be the answer in the slot with safety Antoine Winfield Jr. out with a concussion for another week.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is also questionable for the game but was able to practice fully on Wednesday and Thursday before getting a day of rest on Friday. Hicks hasn't played since suffering a foot injury in Week Two.

CLICK HERE for a more detailed look at the injury report for both the Bucs and the Rams.

After the final practice of Week Nine on Friday, Head Coach Todd Bowles revealed that four Buccaneer players have been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday: tight end Cameron Brate, wide receiver Russell Gage, guard Luke Goedeke and safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

Brate hasn't played since sustaining a neck injury in Pittsburgh in Week Six; the other three will all be out for a second consecutive game after sustaining injuries at Carolina in Week Seven. Gage has a hamstring ailment, Goedeke has a foot injury and Winfield remains in the NFL's concussion protocol.

November 3 Updates

Third-year safety Antoine Winfield Jr. may not be cleared to play by Sunday, but he took another step in the process of clearing the NFL's concussion protocol on Thursday by practicing in a limited fashion. He had been held out of Wednesday's workout and had not practiced at all in Week Eight after sustaining his concussion in Charlotte on October 23.

CLICK HERE for a more detailed examination of the Buccaneers' updated injury report.

November 2 Updates

The Buccaneers could soon be getting reinforcements at the front and back end of their defense.

The Bucs' week of practice for Sunday's game against the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams started on Wednesday, and three defenders who have missed significant time due to injuries were full participants: cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.

Hicks has missed the most time, sitting out six games due to a foot injury he suffered in Week Two at New Orleans. Murphy-Bunting has been out for three games due to a quad injury sustained against Atlanta in Week Five, while Davis has missed the last two contests with a hip ailment.

CLICK HERE to view the full injury report after Wednesday's practice.

Head Coach Todd Bowles confirmed on Wednesday that third-year safety Antoine Winfield Jr. remains in the league's concussion protocol, 10 days after suffering the injury in a Week Seven game at Carolina.

Winfield missed last Thursday's game against Baltimore and cannot return to action until he clears the protocol. He has not practiced since the injury but could conceivably return to the field this week.

"He's making progress," said Bowles. "We'll see how the week goes."

Coming off his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021, Winfield has been one of the team's most impactful defenders this season. He has combined 39 tackles with five tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, one interception and two passes defensed.

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