Arians irritated by Covid suspensions

by Gary Shelton on December 4, 2021

in general

Antonio Brown is in the headlines again./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

As much as it might hurt to play without starting safety Jerome Whitehead Sunday, that isn't what ticks Bucs' coach Bruce Arians.

Playing hide-and-seek with the Covid protocols. That left Arians annoyed on Friday afternoon.

"Obviously, we have two guys suspended," is he way Arians started his press conference. "The league did their due diligence, and we'll move on. I will not address those guys for the next three weeks. They'll just be working out. And then we'll address their future at that time. Other than that, there is really nothing to say. "

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And yet, when Arians was asked to clarify, he said simply"

"Nothing has been decided."

Could Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards face tougher discipline from the team? Might they be released? Might they lose playing time?

At this point, it would be hard to blame the Bucs for whatever they decided. Brown has spent his career in the headlines, and he hasn't exactly observed the "one transgression and you're gone" edict that Arians gave him a year ago. Even if the Bucs welcome him back, who is to say he won't find another controversy?

Arians said the team's focus was on the game to be played.

"Totally on Falcons," Arians said. "Ahead of us. Two guys – basically as we look at it – they’re hurt. And I will say this, the last two years I don't know if there has been a team better against COVID than we have been. This is a setback because of what happened, but we have done an amazing job. We've never had an outbreak in a position room. So, I'm very happy with that part."

Arians said the team's strong adherence to the Covid rules makes it more frustrating.

"Yeah, it pisses me off. It is what it is," Arians said.

Whitehead suffered a calf injury. That won't help Sunday, when the safeties have to help to stop Atlanta's Kyle Pitts. On the other hand, the return of Carlton Davis might.

The Bucs play the Falcons at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Prediction Tampa Bay 30, Atlanta 27.

In other NFL games:

Pittsburgh 21, Baltimore 17.

Kansas City 34, Denver 14.

Buffalo 28,New England 24.

And in the college games:

Georgia 31, Alabama 21.

Cincinnati 24, Houston 20.

Michigan 20, Iowa 14.

Oklahoma State 21, Baylor 17.

Pitt 26, Wake Forest 14.

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