Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians labeled running back Leonard Fournette and Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David as the “most questionable” of the game-time decisions for Sunday’s NFC wild-card game against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Fournette and David were designated for return from injured reserve on Wednesday. They are eligible to be activated at any time.
Fournette, 26, was placed on IR on Dec. 23 with a hamstring injury he sustained four days earlier in a 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He led Tampa Bay in rushing with 812 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 69 passes for 454 yards and two touchdowns.
David, 31, was also put on IR on Dec. 23 with a foot injury he suffered in the game against the Saints. He started all 12 games in which he played, racking up 97 tackles, two sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. David was All-Pro in 2013 and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2015. He was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2020.
While the availability of Fournette and David are in question, running back Ronald Jones (ankle) and wide receiver Cyril Grayson Jr. (hamstring) were ruled out for Sunday’s game by Arians.
Should Fournette sit out on Sunday, the Buccaneers will turn to a stable of running backs that include Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Le’Veon Bell and potentially Giovani Bernard.
Bernard has yet to be activated from injured reserve. Vaughn led the Bucs in rushing in their regular season finale vs. the Carolina Panthers last week with 10 carries for 29 yards and touchdown.
–Field Level Media