TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got promising news on the injury front Friday while their opponent Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams, lost some key players.
First, for the Buccaneers, star right tackle Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen were both on the field Friday for practice and took part in individual drills. Wirfs has started every game this season but suffered an ankle injury last Sunday.
Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians said both were “progressing nicely,” but didn’t say if either would be playing Sunday. Arians said that determination will likely be made about 90 minutes before the 3 pm kickoff.
Having both Wirfs and Jensen at or near full strength would be a welcome development for Bucs fans. Neither have practiced until Friday as they try to get back on the field for Sunday’s game. With the Rams’ very tough defensive line, having two starters will help give Bucs QB Tom Brady extra time to throw and possibly open up a running game.
But while the Bucs offensive line may get some reinforcements, the Rams offensive line and secondary will have big holes to fill.
Rams head coach Sean McVay said Friday both starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth and starting free safety Taylor Rapp will miss Sunday’s Divisional Round game against Tampa Bay. Whitworth is dealing with a knee issue while Rapp is dealing with a concussion, NFL.com reported.
Whitworth has been a star on the offensive line for years and his steady play helped McVay right the ship in Los Angeles. Rapp had 64 solo tackles and 30 assists during the 2021 NFL season.
Kickoff between Tampa Bay and Los Angeles will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium