Bucs' coach Arians has a chance to return Sunday at Jets

Bruce Arians tests positive for COVID-19
Posted at 3:10 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 17:23:10-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ associate head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin has been serving as the interim head coach this week after Bruce Arians tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The amended NFL COVID-19 protocols give Arians a chance to return to the sideline for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Goodwin speaks with Arians following each practice.

“(Thursday) he sounded really good,” Goodwin said. “There is probably a chance that he makes it back. We always want our leader around. He's the head guy. If we can get him back and get our mojo going.”

Goodwin is an aspiring head coach. For the 48-year-old, this was hardly the way he envision his first crack at a head coaching opportunity.

“It's been fun. Walking around the field is not me,” Goodwin said. “At the end of the day, I have to take care of my job making sure the offensive line is right. At the end of the day, all I did was control the team meeting, control any decisions that needed to be made between myself and the trainer. I had the post-practice walk-up with everyone coming up to say a few words to break practice down.”

Wide receiver Mike Evans was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list and will be a game-time decision. Evans still needs 101 receiving yards in the final two games to reach the 1,000-yard mark for an eighth straight season, expanding his NFL record.

Goodwin added that only two players have been ruled out for Sunday’s game, linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.