Despite not appearing on the injury report all week long, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running back Leonard Fournette has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Fournette hasn't done much in the past four games for the Bucs, rushing for only a combined 46 yards on 19 carries. It hasn't been since Tampa Bay's Week 8 win over the New York Giants when Fournette had success running the ball.
Fournette has mostly been used as the Bucs' third-down running back this season. Head coach Bruce Arians was asked this week if Fournette would remain in that role.
“We’ll see," Arians said Friday. "Each and every game is so different. [We will evaluate] what we think is the best 53[-man roster] and then the best 47[-man active roster] to get out there on the field."
With Fournette out, it means that veteran running back LeSean McCoy and rookie back Ke'Shawn Vaughn will serve as the backups to starting back Ronald Jones. Both McCoy and Vaughn haven't gotten a snap on offense since Week 6 for the Bucs, but that could change vs. the Vikings.
In a somewhat less surprising development, starting cornerback Jamel Dean was ruled out as well. Dean has been dealing with a groin injury all week. Dean missed Tampa Bay's Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs with a concussion and has since cleared protocol, but some soreness in his groin popped up before Wednesday's practice according to Arians.
Tight end Cameron Brate was added to the Bucs' injury report Saturday and was listed as questionable. Sunday, however, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he is expected to play. Brate is not listed on the injury report. While Brate is active, tight end Tanner Hudson is out Sunday.
Below is a full look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' inactive list vs. the Vikings:
- DL Khalil Davis
- CB Jamel Dean
- RB Leonard Fournette
- QB Ryan Griffin
- TE Tanner Hudson
- DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
As was reported this week, the Vikings will be without All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks, who remains sidelined by a calf injury. Kendricks was a late scratch last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Below is a full look at the Minnesota Vikings' inactive list vs. the Bucs:
- LB Eric Kendricks
- CB Dylan Mabin
- RB Alexander Mattison
- WR K.J. Osborn
- TE Kyle Rudolph
- T Olisaemeka Udoh