TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have inside linebacker Devin White -- arguably their best defensive player -- back in time to face the New Orleans Saints this week in their NFC divisional game.
White was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday along with defensive lineman Steve McLendon after both missed the past two games, including the Bucs' wild-card win over Washington on Saturday.
The status of running back Ronald Jones, who missed Saturday's game with a quad injury, is up in the air, and Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Monday that the team would have to "wait and see."
"He looked fine Thursday and Friday," Arians said of Jones. "It was sore. And then, I don't know if it was the plane or whatever, but it swelled a little it. He didn't feel like he could open up, so he basically didn't play."
Arians confirmed that starting right guard Alex Cappa fractured his ankle against Washington and will be out against the Saints. He will be replaced by backup guard Aaron Stinnie, although it was Ted Larsen who stepped in for Cappa on Saturday.
The fifth pick in the draft in 2019, White led the Bucs with 9.0 sacks in the regular season. Despite missing the final two games, he still led the Bucs with 140 combined tackles this season -- fifth most in the NFL -- and plays a significant role in Todd Bowles' double and triple A-gap blitzes.
"First let me say how good Kevin Minter played in those two ballgames [stepping in for White]," Arians said Monday. "He was outstanding, did a great job, tipped that ball and got an interception. But he's not Devin, and to bring Devin's passion, his energy, his speed, hopefully he can get after the quarterback some like he's been doing so well -- you're bringing back one of the top players in the league."
As White returns, Minter was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, the team announced.
The Bucs traded for McLendon, who began the season with the New York Jets, in Week 6 to help offset the loss of Vita Vea and help Tampa Bay maintain its No. 1 run defense ranking, giving up just 80.6 yards per game on the ground.
For players who have tested positive for COVID-19 to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list, they must be symptom-free for 10 days, test negative and be cleared by a medical doctor.