The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get to Pro Bowl defenders back against the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow: safety T.J. Ward and linebacker Lavonte David will suit up after missing the past two games with an injury.
That’s what head coach Dirk Koetter said on Sirius XM NFL today, per the Tampa Bay Times. He also said that Robert Ayers and Ali Marpet will play (both were listed as questionable), while Kwon Alexander and Keith Tandy won’t. The latter two are close to returning to play, but this week is still too soon.
Having David and Ward back should provide a big boost to the team’s passing defense in particular. The Bucs have done a pretty good job handling David’s absence in the run game, but his speed and impact as an underneath defender is hard to replicate. The same is true for Ward, who has a way of making impact plays when he’s on the field. The Bucs had Justin Evans make an impressive debut as a starting last week, so it’ll be interesting to see if they go with Evans and Ward at the safety position.