The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed inside linebacker Kevin Minter on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. This news came just hours after inside linebacker Devin White and defensive lineman Steve McLendon were taken off that same list.
The new reserve list category was created in 2020 for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either of these categories, his club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player's medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
Minter just finished playing his second consecutive game in White's place in the Bucs' defense; the latter had been on the COVID list since January 1. Minter had nine tackles and a pass defensed in Tampa Bay's 44-27 win over Atlanta in the regular-season finale then added six more stops and another pass defensed on Saturday night as the Bucs won a Wild Card contest in Washington, 31-23. His tipped pass against Washington led to Sean Murphy-Bunting's first-quarter interception, which in turn set up the game's first touchdown drive.
With Minter on the reserve list, the Buccaneers' depth chart at inside linebacker includes just White and fellow starter David plus the recently re-signed Jack Cichy. The team also has veteran linebacker Deone Bucannon on its practice squad as a potential game day elevation candidate.
Minter played in all 16 regular-season games and had 13 tackles and a pass defensed. In addition to being the primary backup to both White and Lavonte David, the veteran defender was also one of the team's most active special teams players. He had two kick-coverage stops during the regular season.