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Bruce Arians – Likely to find out if Tampa Bay Buccaneers RT Tristan Wirfs can play on Sunday

TAMPA, Fla. - Buccaneers All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who suffered a right ankle sprain in Sunday's wildcard game against the Philadelphia Eagles, is in a walking boot this week, coach Bruce Arians said on Monday.

Arians added that "there is a chance" he can play this week in the division round, but that will likely come down to the thread.

Wirfs suffered the injury in the opening series when he was rolled up on blocking for returning Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Wirfs played one more snap, and as he fell back to the passing block, his foot shot up in pain.

2020's 13th overall election had not missed a single snap in the regular or post-season over the past two years. He tried to return late in the second quarter and played three snaps before it was determined he could not finish.

"As cool as he is, I think there's a chance," Arians said. "He and [center] Ryan [Jensen] will probably have to go all the way to Friday before we know anything right, so we just have to wait and see. "

Jensen suffered a left ankle sprain with 28 seconds left in the first quarter as he was bent backwards on Vaughn's touchdown on the goal line. After limping off the field, he was able to return to finish the match without missing a snap.

"His mental toughness is off the charts," Arians said. "He's just as tough a guy as he is about to play this game. That thing would break so as not to go in again."

The Arians said offensive backup tackle Josh Wells, who replaced the Wirfs, was playing with a "pretty good" quad injury and that they will have to wait and see if he is healthy enough to play Sunday. Quarterback Tom Brady was fired uncharacteristically four times after the Buccaneers' offensive line handed the league-first 23 kicks in the regular season.

When asked about his level of concern with the depth of the tackle, Arians said: "A lot today. Hopefully not so much Wednesday and Thursday. But very, very worried about it today because we had to put [right guard Alex] Cappa by tackle and Aaron Stinnie on guard early in the first quarter of that match. But thank God Josh just cleaned it out. "

The Bucs played without run backs Leonard Fournette, who led the Bucs in scrimmage yards last postseason, and Ronald Jones on Sunday. Arians said Jones has still not been able to cut since suffering his injury in week 17 and they are waiting to see if Fournette can reach full speed when he runs, which he was not able to in last week.

"We know more on Thursday with both of those guys," Arians said.

Outside linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul and inside linebacker Lavonte David all returned Sunday from injury. Pierre-Paul and David played late in Week 15, and Barrett in Week 16. Barrett, who was dealing with a sprained ACL and MCL, had an interception by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in the third quarter.

All three were on track, with David, who had a sprained foot, playing 55 of the shots (88.7%), and Barrett and Pierre-Paul, who had a torn rotator cuff, which he played with for most of the season, playing 28 (45.2%) and 33 (53.2%) snaps, respectively.

Arians said: "They all played well. Shaq did not look injured when he ran with that ball. Lavonte is not as sore as he thought he would be today. JPP is fine. They all had a good rotation. "


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