Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tests positive for COVID-19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Arians is isolating at home with mild symptoms, and assistant head coach/run game coordinator Harold Goodwin will be the team’s acting head coach until his return.

“I tested positive for COVID-19 this morning (Tuesday) but have only experienced mild symptoms to this point,” said Arians, per the team’s official website. “Harold Goodwin will take over my duties during my absence. I have complete confidence in him and the rest of our coaching staff to prepare the team for this week’s game against the Jets. I look forward to rejoining the team and being back in the facility as soon as I can test back in.”

The team also announced starting cornerbacks cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean were placed on the reserve/COVID list on Tuesday.

The Buccaneers are preparing for a road game against the New York Jets on Sunday. The team already has clinched an NFC playoff spot and the NFC South title, but the No. 1 seed in the conference remains within reach. The Green Bay Packers have the NFC’s top record at 12-3, followed by the Bucs, Rams and Cowboys all at 11-4.

Murphy-Bunting and Dean are the latest Buccaneers to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, joining wide receivers Mike Evans and Jaelon Darden, as well as defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Their availability for the Jets game is in doubt, but under newly-adjusted NFL protocols, vaccinated players who test positive can return with after two negative tests, 24 hours apart, if asymptomatic.

Arians is among several NFL coaches to test positive for the virus in recent weeks, including the Browns’ Kevin Stefanski, the Saints’ Sean Payton, the Jets’ Robert Saleh, and the Eagles’ Nick Sirianni.

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