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Bucs could be limited at safety again Sunday against 49ers

Additionally, Leonard Fournette has a sore foot but could play Sunday afternoon.
Published Dec. 9, 2022|Updated Dec. 10, 2022

TAMPA — In terms of safety depth, Sunday afternoon’s forecast for the Bucs isn’t much brighter than the projected weather.

Starting safeties Mike Edwards (hamstring) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) formally were listed as doubtful for the game against the 49ers on Friday’s final injury report.

Neither practiced Wednesday or Thursday and weren’t participating during Friday’s limited practice window open to reporters. Edwards was working on the far end of AdventHealth Training Center with a trainer but wasn’t suited up.

Afterward, Coach Todd Bowles wouldn’t rule either player out of Sunday’s contest in Santa Clara, California — where temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s with a solid chance of rain —but indicated they’ll likely be a game-day decision.

Also absent Friday: tailback Leonard Fournette, who is dealing with a foot injury. He was a limited participant Thursday and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

“His foot’s a little sore,” said Bowles, whose team was set to depart Friday afternoon for California. “We’re hoping he should be fine by Sunday.”

Neither Winfield nor Edwards played in Monday night’s 17-16 win against the Saints, forcing previously injured veteran Logan Ryan to play all 59 snaps and fellow safety Keanu Neal to play 58. Additionally, rookie Zyon McCollum was thrust into duty at nickel cornerback, where he struggled in a 41-snap outing.

On the positive side, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who missed Monday’s game with a quadriceps injury, was listed as questionable. He practiced for the third day in a row and appears in play to at least provide depth at the nickel spot.

“The three (defensive backs) are getting better,” Bowles said. “So we’ll see how they feel Sunday morning.”

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

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