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Bruce Arians' Wife Christine Wanted HC to Opt Out Before Bucs' Super Bowl Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians before the start of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Washington Football Team, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Bruce Arians led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title this season, but multiple family members were concerned about him coaching this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 68-year-old's wife, Christine, wanted him to "seriously consider" opting out, according to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

"I went to work, came home," Arians said. "We haven't gone out to dinner since July. We have all these open-air restaurants here, but I just couldn't risk it. Both of us are high-risk. Some people said, 'Dad, you need to opt out this year,' and I was like: 'No way. I'll risk it. It's going to be a magical year.'"

There were no reports during the season of Arians contracting COVID-19, and he has since received the vaccine for the disease.

Arians was at high risk for COVID-19 in part because of his age. He initially retired because of health concerns in 2017 and had cancerous tumors removed from his prostate, skin and kidney.

He said from the beginning he would take precautions.

"I got to be real careful," he told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times in July. "I'll probably double with a mask and a [face] shield. You know, because l already had my scare out there [in Arizona] once a couple of years ago. For me personally, I've got a plan, and I just have to be smart enough to stay with it."

The Buccaneers did not have any major coronavirus outbreaks during the 2020 campaign, although they had some positive tests within the organization.

Arians won his first championship as a head coach after the Bucs' 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. After the game, he indicated he wasn't planning to retire.

"Hell no, I'm not going anywhere," he told reporters. "I'm coming back and trying to get two."    

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