Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Bruce Arians to create strict COVID protocols for defending champs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has been an outspoken advocate of his players getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

For Arians, it’s as much about his own personal health as it is about getting back to some sense of normalcy. Arians is a three-time cancer survivor and is among those who are at the greatest risk of getting seriously ill if contracting the virus.

The Super Bowl-winning head coach also talked about wanting to get back to some sense of normalcy after the 2020 NFL season was defined by the pandemic. At least for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that’s not going to happen.

“There’s league rules and then there’s my rules,” Bruce Arians said of the COVID protocols for traveling, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We ain’t going anywhere. For us, life is not normal. We’re going to be under pretty much the same protocols as last year. Tennessee coming in and going out to dinner, they found out the hard way.”

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tampa bay buccaneers' bruce arians
Aug 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians looks on in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Arians is speaking about the Tennessee Titans heading into Tampa Bay for a preseason game earlier this month. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel tested positive for the virus and four players are currently on the COVID-19 reserve list following joint practices with the Buccaneers.

The question now becomes whether Arians actually threw some shade in the direction of his counterpart. Earlier in the week, the head coach said his Buccaneers players were just fine after joint practices. This came following images of Tom Brady hanging out with his former teammate in Mike Vrabel during joint practices.

Bruce Arians went on to note that his players are not going to be able to leave the hotel when traveling on road trips. Players will “have to make the same sacrifices as last season,” the head coach noted.

NFL COVID-19 protocols indicate that teams with at least 85% of their players and personnel vaccinated will see restrictions limited when on road trips during the regular season. For the Buccaneers, that’s not going to be the case. Arians made that more than clear on Wednesday.