Not only is this the first Bucs’ home game inside Raymond James Stadium since Week Three, it’s also a reunion between Bruce Arians and 12 of his staff members, with the team they’ve formerly coached.
There are 12 players still on the Cardinals who played for BA during his tenure. It’s a reunion for them, too. Instead of playing for their beloved coach, they’ll be playing against him. Their reaction to that and memories of BA were chronicled well on the Cardinals’ website this week.
Plus, more information to know as running back David Johnson eyes his return from injury against the Bucs this Sunday.
What the Cardinals are saying:
“Arians, who holds the Cardinals' franchise record for a coach with 50 wins, said Wednesday he “never expected” what comes Sunday, some 20 months later – he will coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Cardinals, even after that emotional retirement announcement.”
“The Cardinals are expecting Johnson to return to the field Sunday in Tampa. How that manifests itself hasn’t been determined yet, not after Kenyan Drake’s dynamic 110-yard rushing debut after arriving in trade, and with fellow injured running back Chase Edmonds (hamstring) expected not to be able to play against the Buccaneers.”
How it plays out began Monday, when the Cardinals got a bonus practice in following their Thursday game last week and a mini-bye over the weekend. But Kingsbury said Johnson’s return, along with Drake’s performance, leads him to find more ways to get multiple running backs on the field than he would have previously.