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Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. remains in concussion protocol

Coach Bruce Arians has his “fingers crossed” of getting some injured starters back this week.
Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is still in concussion protocol, meaning he could miss a third straight game this week.
Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is still in concussion protocol, meaning he could miss a third straight game this week. [ KYUSUNG GONG | Associated Press ]
Published Oct. 19

TAMPA — While a handful of injured Bucs starters made cameo appearances at the team’s indoor walk-through session Tuesday, it remains too early to determine if they’ll have meatier roles — or any roles at all — Sunday afternoon.

Safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (concussion protocol), inside linebacker Lavonte David (high-ankle sprain) and cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) all were spotted in uniform at the abbreviated pad-less session that Arians called a “bonus” workout. Not in attendance was tight end Rob Gronkowski (fractured ribs).

Afterward, Arians said Winfield — sidelined the last two games — still hasn’t cleared protocol, leaving his status for Sunday’s game against the Bears uncertain.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed on two or three guys,” Arians added, “but it’s going to go to the wire probably.”

The team should have a clearer outlook after Wednesday’s practice, the week’s first full-scale workout since Thursday night’s 28-22 win against the Eagles.

While indicating he was hopeful of getting back Gronkowski (sidelined three games), Arians said the 32-year-old remains a wait-and-see situation. Sherman, 33, is expected to miss as many as three games with the hamstring he strained early in Thursday’s contest, but likely won’t go on injured reserve.

“I’ve never been around Sherm long enough to see how he handles injuries, so it’s something we’ll learn about,” Arians said. “I know he’s a tough guy and likes to play, so that’s a major part of getting well.”

With Sherman limited to six snaps Thursday night, the Bucs leaned on corner/safety hybrid Ross Cockrell (51 snaps), special teams regular Dee Delaney (46) and journeyman Pierre Desir (six) in the corner rotation. Additionally, the team signed veteran Blidi Wreh-Wilson, a former Titans third-round pick with 75 career games, to its practice squad Monday.

“I’m comfortable with what we’ve got and what we played with,” Arians said.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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