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