TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can be with out Professional Bowl defensive again Antoine Winfield Jr., tight finish Cam Brate, left guard Luke Goedeke and huge receiver Russell Gage once they host the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, coach Todd Bowles mentioned Friday.
Winfield Jr., one of many Bucs’ high defensive playmakers, suffered a concussion in Week 7 on the Carolina Panthers. He returned to observe this week in a restricted capability, as permitted by the NFL concussion protocol, however remains to be working his means by means of the protocol.
“Good to see him out right here working round. He is going by means of the method proper now however he is trending in the best means,” Bowles mentioned.
Brate, their beginning tight finish, has been out since struggling a neck sprain Week 6 on the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaving the sport on a stretcher. He did return to observe this week as a restricted participant. Goedeke, their beginning left guard, has been out since struggling a foot harm in Week 7 and has not practiced, whereas Gage, their fourth receiver behind Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, has been out with a hamstring harm since Week 7.
The Bucs, who haven’t received a recreation since Oct. 9 and have fallen to a 3-5 document, are anticipated to have a number of key gamers again from harm. Beginning defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who has been out since Week 2 with a foot harm, has been a full participant in observe all week. The Bucs’ run protection — usually one of many high models within the league the previous couple of years — has struggled as of late.
“It helps as a result of it places everyone again of their roles,” Bowles mentioned. “It places everyone again of their roles and so they can get the period of time and play how they’re used to taking part in, and it helps us up entrance as a result of it provides us a dimension we’ve not had over there.”
High cornerback Carlton Davis III, who aggravated a hip harm in Week 6 and missed the final two weeks, was additionally a full participant in observe this week, as was cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who suffered a quadriceps harm in Week 5.
The Bucs have handled various accidents to key defensive items this yr, with Professional Bowl exterior linebacker Shaq Barrett struggling an Achilles tear and present process surgical procedure earlier this week, ending his 2022 season.
Just like the Bucs, the Rams discover themselves in unfamiliar territory at 3-4. The Rams have by no means fallen two video games beneath .500 underneath coach Sean McVay, however Bowles does not anticipate diminished competitors between the final two defending Tremendous Bowl champions, who will face off for the fourth time in three seasons.
“We all know we’ll get the very best Rams workforce we are able to face,” Bowles mentioned. “We’re in the identical boat — we’re each making an attempt to win a ballgame. They’ve nonetheless bought all their star gamers and excessive manufacturing, clearly, so it should be a battle.”