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T.J. Ward cleared to play against Falcons, but does that matter?

Ward has barely made an impact this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get one Pro Bowler back today: safety T.J. Ward has passed the concussion protocol, head coach Dirk Koetter said today. Too bad this Pro Bowler has barely made an impact in Tampa this season.

Ward was signed at the start of this season, after the Denver Broncos cut him. The Bucs hoped he’d make a quick impact, but have refused to let him play full games. Perhaps rightly so: while he’s made some splash plays, he was also responsible for some obvious busts, and he’s really only a fit as a strong safety.

In all, Ward has started just three games this season, has two passes defensed, 21 tackles and one fumble recovery. Those are meager results for a Pro Bowler who was supposed to fortify a rising defense, not become a liability on a terribly inconsistent defense.

In all, I’d expect the Bucs to mostly play Ward as a part-time player for the final three weeks, before saying goodbye to him in the offseason. That is: if Mike Smith stays as the defensive coordinator. If the Bucs get a new coach who takes a liking to Ward, things might change.

In other news, Lavonte David missed a second day of practice with a hamstring injury, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. So, that’s not good.