Tristan Wirfs’ injury not as serious as feared

Coach Todd Bowles said the All-Pro right tackle suffered a high-ankle sprain.
Published Nov. 28, 2022|Updated Nov. 28, 2022

TAMPA — The Bucs might have captured one of their biggest breaks of this discombobulated season in the form of the initial prognosis of All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Wirfs, whose ankle/foot injury Sunday against the Browns was so ghastly that Fox chose not to replay the footage, might only miss three or four weeks. Wirfs suffered some ligament damage, but should avoid surgery barring a second opinion.

Coach Todd Bowles called it a high ankle sprain during his regular Monday news conference, adding he doesn’t expect Wirfs to play next Monday night at home against the Saints. The X-rays taken immediately after the game were negative.

The injury occurred in overtime of Tampa Bay’s 23-17 loss in Cleveland. Wirfs was engaged blocking Browns outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney when linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah blitzed and hurdled running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. When Vaughn threw Owusu-Koramoah down, he landed on Wirfs’ left leg.

“I don’t know where that (hurdle) came from,” Bucs tailback Rachaad White said. “I saw it on the sideline. I talked to (Vaughn) about it; it was insane. That was crazy. I would not have respected that either if I was in, and I’m pretty sure (Vaughn) didn’t.”

Wirfs’ injury wasn’t the only potentially costly one incurred in Cleveland.

Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield, briefly evaluated for a concussion before re-entering the game, also sprained an ankle, Bowles said. His status for against the Saints is uncertain.

Additionally, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and safety Mike Edwards suffered what Bowles called “contusions” and are considered day-to-day.

“We’ll see how (Winfield) feels during the week,” Bowles said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to play or not at this time.”

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