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 the NFC divisional game.
White was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday along with defensive lineman Steve McLendon after both missed the last two games, including the Bucs’ wild-card win over Washington 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.
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 helping Tampa Bay maintain their No. 1 run defense ranking, giving up just 80.6 yards per game on the ground.
In order 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.