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Richard Sherman could return for Bucs against Bills at a new position

The Pro Bowl cornerback will get some reps at safety this week, coach Bruce Arians said Monday.
Bucs cornerback Richard Sherman will begin taking reps at safety this week, coach Bruce Arians said.
Bucs cornerback Richard Sherman will begin taking reps at safety this week, coach Bruce Arians said. [ TERRANCE WILLIAMS | AP ]
Published Dec. 6, 2021
Updated Dec. 6, 2021

TAMPA — Richard Sherman has a chance to return from a calf injury Sunday against the Bills, but it may be at a new position.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Monday that the Pro Bowl cornerback will start taking some reps at safety.

The Bucs lost safety Mike Edwards to a three-game suspension for misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status, and he can’t return until the Bucs play Dec. 26 at Carolina.

Safety Jordan Whitehead missed this past Sunday’s game at Atlanta with a calf injury that could cost him more playing time.

Sherman played three games in 12 days after signing with the Bucs before hamstring and calf injuries sent him off the field. He has recorded only 11 tackles and one fumble recovery.

He was expected to return Nov. 14 against Washington but suffered a grade two calf strain in warmups at FedExField.

Arians said Sherman could be ready to go against the Bills.

“That’s a possibility,” Arians said. “(Sherman) is going to start learning safety, also. So that’s good. Having Sherm here, he’s a veteran player and can play a lot of positions. We’ll look at that this week and see if that’s a fit for us.”

The Bucs secondary suffered another injury this past Sunday. Cornerback Jamel Dean left the game with a concussion.

Defensive tackle William Gholston suffered a patellar tendon injury late in the game, but Arians isn’t sure of his status.

“Right now, Jamel is in the protocol,” Arians said. “He looks like he’s in pretty good shape, so hopefully we can get him out of protocol by Sunday.”

Even Arians is on the mend. He struggled walking off the field Sunday in Atlanta.

“I inflamed my Achilles running too much trying to get back into shape,” he said, “and I’m not feeling too good.”

Miller, Johnson lose third receiver spot

With Brown on the suspended list and still mending from his ankle injury, there was a real opportunity for Scotty Miller and/or Tyler Johnson to fill that third receiver role.

Instead, the Bucs went with Breshad Perriman Sunday in Atlanta.

Perriman has twice been promoted from the Bucs practice squad. On Sunday, he played 59 of the Bucs’ 70 offensive snaps. Johnson had nine, while Miller was limited to four.

Perriman was targeted only three times and had one catch for 5 yards, which Johnson matched.

“BP has had a couple good weeks of practice, and he brings an explosiveness out there,” Arians explained of Perriman’s increased use. “It was a game I felt like, Tyler has been playing good. Scotty has been playing good. But I wanted to get him on the field more. He does block well and he does everything, so it was more of just getting him the reps.”

How Bucs can clinch NFC South

Tampa Bay hasn’t hasn’t won its division since 2007, when it lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the wild-card round.

The Bucs can clinch the NFC South with wins over Buffalo and the Saints at Raymond James Stadium the next two weeks. Or they can clinch Sunday with a win over the Bills, coupled with wins by the Falcons over the Panthers and Jets over the Saints.

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