Aug 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians looks on before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians imposes stricter COVID rules for Bucs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have barely been affected by COVID-19 during training camp, losing just one player, and coach Bruce Arians intends to keep it that way.

Arians said Wednesday that he is employing strict protocols in order to keep his players available.

“There’s league rules and then there’s my rules,” Arians said. “We ain’t going anywhere (in terms of players mingling with the general population). We’re the same as last year. I don’t give a crap if they’re vaccinated or not. They ain’t going anywhere.”

On Tuesday, kicker Ryan Succop became the first Buccaneers player to land on the COVID list. He tested positive for the coronavirus after going out to dinner with members of the Titans, his former team, after Tennessee held joint practices with the Buccaneers last week before the teams met in a preseason game in Tampa on Saturday.

The Titans subsequently placed multiple players on the COVID list, and coach Mike Vrabel was in quarantine after contracting the virus.

When the Buccaneers head out for their lone road preseason game, a Saturday contest against the Houston Texans, Arians will be imposed extra limitations on his squad. No family members will be among the traveling party, and all players, even those who are vaccinated, will be confined to the team hotel.

“For us, life is not normal,” Arians said. “We’re pretty much under the same protocols — we’re going to be under the same protocols as last year. Because that’s the way it is, especially living here. Tennessee coming in and going out to dinner — they found out the hard way. So did Ryan.

“You can only tell them so much. Once we get to 53 (players) — even this weekend — our guys are going to make a bunch of sacrifices that you have to make now. Families at the hotel, all those things — they’re all out the window.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop (3) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs place K Succop, P Pinion, LS Triner on reserve/virus list

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed kicker Ryan Succop, punter Bradley Pinion and long snapper Zach Triner on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Tuesday.

The trio represents the first players to be added to the team’s list since defenseman lineman Benning Potoa’e on Nov. 30.

It is not immediately clear if any of the three players tested positive for COVID-19 or were close contacts with someone who had.

Succop, 34, has made 24 of 26 field-goal attempts and 38 of 41 extra-point tries in 13 games this season.

Tampa Bay can turn to Greg Joseph should Succop be unavailable to play for the Buccaneers (8-5) in their road game against the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) on Sunday. The Bucs on Tuesday used practice squad protection on Joseph, thus preventing any other team from signing him this week.

Pinion, 26, is averaging a career-best 45.6 yards per punt and 41.5 yards net this season.

Triner, 29, has participated in 116 special teams snaps this season.

–Field Level Media