Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians to Coach vs. Jets After Clearing COVID-19 Protocols

Erin WalshJanuary 1, 2022

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watch from the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians will coach Sunday's game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium after clearing COVID-19 protocols, the team announced Saturday. 

Arians tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, and his status for Week 17 was initially up in the air. 

The NFL and NFL Players Association recently agreed to modify COVID-19 protocols to reduce the amount of time a coronavirus-positive player is in isolation to five days, which is in line with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier in the week. 

When the Buccaneers announced Arians, who is vaccinated, had tested positive, the 69-year-old said at the time he had only experienced mild symptoms. Assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin served as Tampa's interim head coach while Arians was in isolation. 

The Buccaneers also placed wide receiver Mike Evans, cornerback Jamel Dean, wide receiver Jaelon Darden, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches, punter Bradley Pinion and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week. All but Pinion and Darden have since cleared protocols. 

Dean and Murphy-Bunting were recently added to the injury report and are questionable for Week 17, the team announced Saturday. 

Even if Arians hadn't cleared protocols, the Buccaneers would've been in good hands. Tampa Bay already locked up a playoff spot and is now battling for the top spot in the NFC.