The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense is closer to full strength to start the 2021 playoffs as inside linebacker Lavonte David and outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett are both returning to action after sitting out several games to end the regular season.
The Buccaneers activated David and running back Giovani Bernard from injured reserve on Sunday and both are active for Sunday's Wild Card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. David spent the final three weeks of the regular season on injured reserve after sustaining a foot injury in Week 15. Barrett didn't land on the I.R. list but did miss the previous two games with a knee injury. The return of David and Barrett could help a Buccaneers run defense that has been a major strength for the past three years but has faltered of late.
The Buccaneers, pass defense, however, will be without the services on Sunday of starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. Murphy-Bunting is dealing with a hamstring injury and ran on the field prior to the game under the eyes of team trainers. He did not pass the test and is on the inactive list but fellow starting corner Carlton Davis, who was added to the injury report at the end of the week due to a back ailment, has been cleared to play.
As Head Coach Bruce Arians revealed on Friday, running back Ronald Jones (ankle) and wide receiver Cyril Grayson (hamstring) are both out for the Wild Card round. The Buccaneers did not get lead rusher Leonard Fournette back from injured reserve this week but Bernard will add some depth to the offensive backfield, particularly on third downs.
Tampa Bay and Philadelphia each submitted a list of inactive players at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, 90 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of their Wild Card playoff game at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers came into the game with 55 players on the active roster after elevating running back Kenjon Barner and tight end Codey McElroy from the practice squad on Saturday (though those two were also named inactives). That means Tampa Bay had to name seven players inactive in order to get down to the game limit of 48 on Sunday.
The Eagles will be without starting defensive end Josh Sweat, who tied for the team lead in the regular season with 7.5 sacks. Sweat reportedly underwent emergency surgery during the week. Nate Herbig, one of five players who have started at right guard for the Eagles this year, is also out due to an ankle injury.
- RB Kenjon Barner
- WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
- RB Ronald Jones
- G Nick Leverett
- TE Codey McElroy
- CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
- QB Kyle Trask
Grayson and Jones are out due to injury.
- S Andre Chachere
- CB Tay Gowin
- G Nate Herbig
- RB Jason Huntley
- QB Reid Sinnett
- DE Josh Sweat
- CB Kary Vincent