Photo credit: Zach Goodall, AllBucs.com
The next time Bruce Arians expects to see his entire Buccaneers team is June 7, when the team's mandatory minicamp is scheduled to begin.
It's unclear now if safety Jordan Whitehead, guard Alex Cappa, or tight end O.J. Howard will be able to participate in minicamp after all three players dealt with injuries through the 2020 season. However, Arians acknowledged on Saturday that he is happy with the progress of all three players in their recovery.
Cappa fractured his ankle during the Wild Card round of the playoffs in January, forcing him out of the remainder of the Super Bowl run. Arians has yet to see Cappa this offseason to judge the guard's recovery himself, but is encouraged by reports of Cappa's health that he's gotten thus far.
"He’ll be in soon, but from what I’m hearing he’s working out really, really well and doing well," Arians said. Having not seen Cappa, Arians couldn't answer if he'll be ready for camp or not but suggested that "there’s a real good chance, I can’t swear to it.”
Whitehead played through a partially torn labrum in the Super Bowl after exiting the NFC Championship with the injury in Green Bay. Whitehead eventually had surgery on his left shoulder in late February, which leads Arians to believe he may be better suited on the sidelines when the team next takes the field.
“I don’t know if I’ll let him go, but he’s looking really good," Arians shared.
Over seven months removed from tearing his Achilles against the Los Angeles Chargers last October, Arians has repeatedly expressed that Howard is on track to return to the field by training camp. In late March, Arians indicated that Howard had suffered no setbacks and was running at around 85 percent body weight on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill.
"I see O.J. every day," Arians said. "He’s really close now. He looks fantastic working out every day.”
The Buccaneers will start voluntary organized team activities on May 25. The NFL Players Association released a statement on behalf of the Buccaneers in April confiding that many players will not participate in OTAs and other voluntary workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic.