Four days from opener, Jordan Whitehead is the only Bucs player not practicing

Sport

The good news for the Buccaneers is that only one player isn’t currently able to practice due to injury. The bad news is that it’s safety Jordan Whitehead, a key presence in the secondary.

“The only person not participating is Jordan Whitehead with his hamstring,” coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Sunday. “It’s day-to-day — we’ll see where he goes.”

Arians made it clear the team would miss Whitehead if he can’t play.

“I mean, there’s only one Jordan,” Arians said. “I’m not counting him out yet.”

If Whitehead can’t play, the Bucs would rely on Mike Edwards and Ross Cockrell to fill the void.

“Ross has had a hell of a camp and obviously made the transition easily for us,” Arians said. “Mike is a ballhawk. So, I’m very, very comfortable with where we’re at there.”

On offense, running back Gio Bernard had been a question mark with an ankle injury suffered in the preseason finale against Houston. Arians said that Bernard is “full speed.”

To avoid further injuries, Arians gave the players the choice to wear pads on Sunday. Apparently, a recent practice without pads got a little physical.

“First time I’ve ever asked players, ‘Should we put pads on?’ And they said yes because of practice the other day. It was like, ‘Whoa!’ So, it was really, really good to see it. . . . . The [prior] practice was really physical. So, I was like, ‘Should we put pads on Sunday?’ and they were like, ‘Yeah, just for our protection.’ Yeah, just the protection. It was a very, very good practice.”

In four nights, they’ll be looking to have a very, very good game against the Cowboys.