Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers stars took steps toward full health for the 2021 season, only a couple of weeks after winning Super Bowl LV.
Safety Jordan Whitehead had surgery on his torn labrum this week and should recover in 4-6 months in time for training camp per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
As expected, Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead has surgery this week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Should be fully healthy in 4-6 months. Our story from last week on his toughing through the injury to play in the Super Bowl: https://t.co/CayEregZz3
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 19, 2021
Running back Ronald Jones II had the pin in his broken pinky removed on Tuesday according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
#GoBucs RB Ronald Jones will have a pin removed from his broken left pinky finger on Tuesday. He had the surgery to repair it in mid-December and managed to play through the injury.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) February 15, 2021
Both Jones and Whitehead played in the Super Bowl despite their injuries. Jones rushed for 61 yards and 12 carries in the 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7. Whitehead, playing with a shoulder harness, delivered a couple of tackles while playing 68 percent of the snaps per Pro Football Reference.
They also had strong 2020 seasons overall. Jones tallied 978 yards and seven touchdowns on 192 carries. Whitehead posted two interceptions, a couple of sacks, a forced fumble, and 74 tackles in the regular season.
Whitehead injured his shoulder against Green Bay in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 24 when he collided with a Packers running back per Sports Illustrated’s All Bucs.
The three-year starter finished with five tackles and a forced fumble before exiting. He called his mother and assured her that he wouldn’t miss the Super Bowl over the injury per John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Whitehead’s mom had to remind him that it was only the third quarter amid a Packers rally when he said that according to McGonigal.
Whitehead showed more confidence ahead of the Super Bowl in facing the top-ranked Kansas City Chiefs offense and superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“I know for a fact we definitely have the best offense in the league — really, going against them gives you confidence,” Whitehead said in a Feb. 3 press conference per All Bucs.
The former fourth-round pick spent most of the two weeks on the injury report before the Super Bowl but practiced as a full participant the Friday before the Big Game. Dr. Jesse Morse of The Fantasy Doctors noted playing in the Super Bowl came with a significant risk for Whitehead — the shoulder being “very loose/unstable.”
This is a very significant injury. His shoulder not only hurts but is very loose/unstable. He will definitely need offseason shoulder surgery which could affect his ability to play Week 1. Lots of pain killing injections today. #GoBucs #JordanWhitehead https://t.co/vgfTJdWL2T
— Jesse Morse, MD (@DrJesseMorse) February 7, 2021
“The one thing about Jordan, he’ll throw his face in the fan,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said in a Feb. 3 press conference per Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith. “He’s not afraid to mix it up, and he’s really improved in his pass coverage. He’s got a great nose for the ball.”
He had already been dealing with a knee injury that resurfaced before the Green Bay game per CBS Sports.
Ronald Jones II Injury
Jones injured his pinky in a Dec. 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings and missed two weeks with the surgery.
He returned as strong as ever for the regular season finale with 78 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries. His postseason performance started slow with a quad injury that sidelined him for the Wild Card game at Washington, but he picked up 62 yards on 13 carries at New Orleans in the Divisional Round. Green Bay limited him to 16 yards on 10 attempts in the NFC Championship game.
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