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Buccaneers Safety Ruled Out For Dallas Cowboys Game

Bruce Arians confirmed the news on Tuesday.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians recently said he wasn't counting safety Jordan Whitehead out in terms of playing in the season opener against the Cowboys, but now, it appears that has changed.

Arians told reporters after Tuesday's practice that Whitehead will indeed miss this week's game. Whitehead has been dealing with a hamstring injury and hasn't practiced with the Bucs since prior to August 10. 

The Athletic's Greg Auman was the first to report the news.

The news is a blow for the Bucs defense, but it won't put the safety position in trouble. Former third-round pick Mike Edwards is a very capable player and Antoine Winfield Jr. can replace Whitehead in the box, so it's not like the Bucs are trotting out a practice squad-type player or putting a player in unfamiliar territory.

It's safe to say, however, that Whitehead is one the hardest hitters on the team, especially in the secondary. That will be both hard to duplicate and replace. His hit/forced fumble on Aaron Jones in the NFC Championship game was one of the bigger plays of that matchup.

Regardless, it's a tough setback for Whitehead, who missed OTAs and mini-camp due to his recovery from a torn labrum and then missed the first several practices of training camp after landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This is also a contract year for Whitehead, so he needs to be on the field as much as possible.

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