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Lavonte David, T.J. Ward likely to play against Cardinals

The Bucs are getting their star defenders back.

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to play a fourth game without star middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, who was ruled out again, despite actually participating in practice this week. He’ll once again be replaced by rookie Kendell Beckwith, who’s done a very good job so far.

Also ruled out: cornerback/special teams ace Josh Robinson with a concussion, defensive end Ryan Russell with a shoulder injury, and safety Keith Tandy with hip injury. Robinson’s absence is the most impactful, as he’s a key part of the Bucs’ dominant punt coverage team. Tandy’s absence will give Justin Evans some more playing time after an impressive game against Tom Brady last week.

There’s also some good news, though: Lavonte David and T.J. Ward should return to action today, with both having participated in practices this week. Their return should give a massive boost to the Bucs’ pass defense in particular. Ali Marpet and Robert Ayers are both listed as questionable as well, though they should be able to play tomorrow.

By contrast, the Arizona Cardinals are mostly healthy. A few players are listed as questionable but should be able to play, and only defensive lineman Olsen Pierre has been ruled out.