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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have Bruce Arians on the sidelines for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, as the head coach cleared COVID-19 protocols in time for the Week 17 matchup. Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver will also coach in his role this week. Tampa Bay also activated cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting from the reserve/COVID-19 list and both players are questionable (illness) for the game.
Assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin filled in as acting head coach throughout the week while Arians recovered. Due to the league’s revised COVID protocols, the mandated quarantine period was reduced to five days for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals — giving Arians a chance to coach Sunday.
“He sounded really good, so there’s probably a chance that he makes it back,” Goodwin said Friday, indicating Arians could make his return for Sunday’s game. “[We] always want our leader around. He’s the head guy so if we can get him back, [we’ll] get him back and keep our mojo going.”
The Buccaneers have already clinched the NFC South title and a playoff berth, but have their sights set on home field in the conference. Tampa Bay is 11-4 on the year, one game behind the Green Bay Packers for the top spot in the NFC.
Having Arians back will be a huge boost to the coaching staff.