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Peyton Barber and Jason Pierre-Paul will play against Bengals

After appearing on the injury report for Week 8, two key Bucs starters will be on the field this Sunday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the first injury report of the week came out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out this past Wednesday, Peyton Barber’s name surprised many and he was listed as having an ankle injury.

Then, on Thursday Jason Pierre-Paul showed up on the report with an injury to his ribs, and things got a little tense for a minute.

Tampa Bay’s fan base did a good job keeping a level head and most assumed both listings were nothing too big to worry about. Perhaps it was the thought of the 2018 Bucs losing even more key players than they already have was just too much to imagine.

Well, on Friday, head coach Dirk Koetter put any worries living beneath the surface to rest. Via, Buccaneers.com Senior Editor and Writer Scott Smith:

Good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and calming news for sure, for the fans of the team hoping to see them secure their second-straight win against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend.

Barber hasn’t been able to get loose often this year, and has just 260-yards rushing in 2018 thus far.

However, he had his best game two weeks ago against the Atlanta Falcons when he rushed for 82-yards on thirteen carries and added another 24-yards from four receptions including his first and only score of the year.

Significant, because while the Falcons currently rank fourteenth in the league in rushing yards allowed, the Bengals rank seventh and are surrendering nearly 20-yards more per game on the ground.

Ronald Jones got Tampa Bay’s first rushing touchdown from the running back group last week against the Cleveland Browns, and Barber’s confirmed status for Sunday means the Bucs will have both options available to try and add to it.

Jason Pierre-Paul would have likely caused a bigger stir among the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faithful had he ended up missing this weekend’s action.

While some initially scoffed at the deal when Jason Licht traded a 2018 third-round draft pick to the New York Giants in the deal which brought JPP home to Tampa, nobody is doubting the move now.

The veteran in his ninth season is off to a great start and on pace to rack up sixteen sacks and over 50 tackles. The last time Pierre-Paul had a season like that was in 2014 when he gave the New York Giants 12.5 sacks and 77 tackles.

For the Bucs, it’s good news on a Friday will hopefully lead to better news on Sunday.