Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks team up to form one of the most imposing interior-line duos in the NFL, but in the leadup to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week 13 Monday night game against New Orleans, they were dealing with twin foot injuries that landed them as questionable on the team's injury report Saturday.
On Monday, both Vea and Hicks were given clearance to play, as were three other Buccaneers who had been designated as questionable for the game in running back Leonard Fournette, wide receiver Russell Gage and guard Luke Goedeke. However, tight end Cameron Brate, who missed most of this week's practice time due to illness, is not going to play.
As expected, three key members of the secondary will be sidelined as well: cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and safeties Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr. All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs had already been ruled out on Saturday's injury report due to the ankle and knee injuries he sustained last weekend in Cleveland.
Goedeke and Gage are both returning from four-game absences after suffering foot and hamstring injuries, respectively, in Week Seven at Carolina. Fournette had missed one game due to a hip pointer.
The Buccaneers and Saints submitted their list of inactives at 6:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, 90 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of their Week 13 matchup at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers elevated cornerback Anthony Chesley and inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert from the practice squad for the game and thus had to name seven players inactive to get down to the game-day limit of 48.
The Saints will be without several key defensive players, including cornerback Marshon Lattimore, linebacker Pete Werner, safety P.J. Williams and defensive end Payton Turner. On offense, New Orleans will be operating without tight end Juwan Johnson.
- TE Cameron Brate
- S Mike Edwards
- CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
- WR Breshad Perriman
- QB Kyle Trask
- S Antoine Winfield Jr.
- T Tristan Wirfs
Brate, Edwards, Murphy-Bunting, Winfield and Wirfs are out due to injury or illness.
- S J.T. Gray
- TE Juwan Johnson
- OL Lewis Kidd
- CB Marshon Lattimore
- DE Payton Turner
- LB Pete Werner
- S P.J. Williams
Gray, Johnson, Lattimore, Turner and Williams are out due to injury.