The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have Lavonte David and T.J. Ward back today against the Arizona Cardinals, after injury kept them out for the previous two games. That’s two Pro Bowlers and a big boost to a very inconsistent defense, which could be just the boost the Bucs need.
Unfortunately, starting middle linebacker Kwon Alexander isn’t ready to return yet. Kendell Beckwith will take his place, as he has for the past three games. Keith Tandy is also absent with an injury, though he likely would have lost much of his playing time to Ward and rookie Justin Evans anyway.
In better news, starting defensive tackle Chris Baker return to action, which should give the already good run defense a further boost. The defense as a whole should look pretty good today, while the offense (which has been inconsistent) is entirely healthy.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, they’ll be without defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche and Olsen Pierre, but are otherwise healthy. Nkemdiche was a highly touted first-round pick last year, but has barely gotten on the field and made little impact since then.
Buccaneers inactives: LB Kwon Alexander, TE Antony Auclair, C Joe Hawley, CB Josh Robinson, DE Ryan Russell, S Keith Tandy, T Leonard Wester
Cardinals inactives: — QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Chad Williams, RB D.J. Foster, C Daniel Munyer, DL Olsen Pierre, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, DL Robert Nkemdiche