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Injured Bucs show positive signs during limited practice work Wednesday

Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. matter-of-factly says he’ll play in Super Bowl 55.
Bucs rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31), pictured earlier this season against the Vikings, has been nursing an ankle injury but said Wednesday he will play in Super Bowl 55.
Bucs rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31), pictured earlier this season against the Vikings, has been nursing an ankle injury but said Wednesday he will play in Super Bowl 55. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Feb. 3, 2021

The Bucs’ first full-bore practice of Super Bowl week provided some encouraging signs regarding the handful of injured starters.

All four — receiver Antonio Brown (knee) safeties Jordan Whitehead (shoulder) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle), and inside linebacker Lavonte David (hamstring) — practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Afterward, Winfield told reporters, “The ankle’s feeling good and I’m going to play the game.”

Coach Bruce Arians, however, remained more cautiously optimistic.

“All those guys were limited today,” Arians said. “They got about half of practice in, and most of them looked pretty good. We’ll see how the swelling goes (Thursday) on (Brown) for sure, and Antonio. Jordan had a non-contact jersey on, but he was flying around looking pretty good.”

Brown, who like Winfield did not play in the NFC title game in Green Bay, betrayed similar optimism.

“I was at practice today, going over the details,” he said. “The arrow’s pointing up as the week continues to unfold.”

Whitehead, who exited shortly after forcing an Aaron Jones fumble early in the second half against the Packers, said he’s “getting better every day.”

“Going through everything, feel good, feeling better,” he said. “Can’t ask to be in a better position right now. So we’re just going to keep progressing. We’ve still got a couple days ‘til the game.”

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