Several top players for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been injured in one way or another, but they are expected to be healthy and ready to go for Super Bowl LV. The Big Game is now just over a week away and the NFL has a lot going on right now.
Mahomes Ready To Play
The good news for the Chiefs is that quarterback sensation Patrick Mahomes has cleared concussion protocols and will be ready to play in Super Bowl LV.
It’s funny how getting into the Super Bowl can make those injuries seem not so bad anymore. Take for instance Chiefs’ excellent wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has been out with a calf injury. He has let it be known that he will be ready to play for Super Bowl LV. The same goes for Chiefs’ quick running back Le’Veon Bell, whose knee has suddenly gotten much better. Watkins is not going to miss the chance to go up against Tom Brady and Antonio Brown, Super Bowl or not. Chief’s safety Antoine Winfield Jr.’s ankle is also feeling much better.
Big bad Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who played on the 15-0 LSU national championship team, had been out with undisclosed injuries, but he is back and ready to bowl over some Buccaneer defenders. If he needs a break Darrel Williams won’t leave any slack at all on the field.
For the Bucs, Lavonte David, Jason Pierre-Paul, Antonio Brown, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Whitehead are still hoping to get into the game next weekend, but have been having some injury issues. Chris Godwin is back in action and will be a huge plus, but there’s no doubt that Tampa Bay wants to see Brown and Winfield suited up and ready to go.
Refs Lined Up For The Big Game
The NFL has announced the seven-person officiating crew of distinguished game officials for the Super Bowl. Leading the crew is referee Carl Cheffers, who, after 21 seasons officiating NFL games, will be going to his second Super Bowl.
NFL Executive VP for football operations Troy Vincent said in a statement after the team was announced, “Their body of work over the course of a 17-game season has earned them the honor of officiating the biggest game on the world’s biggest stage. They are the best of the best.”
Another first for Super Bowl LV will be when down judge Sarah Thomas takes the field to become the first woman to ever officiate in a Super Bowl. “Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official,” said Troy Vincent. “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”
Also on this year’s officiating crew for Super Bowl LV we find umpire Fred Bryan, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge James Coleman, side judge Eugene Hall, back judge Dino Paganelli and replay official Mike Wimmer.
So now, the stage is set and the players are ready for action. Super Bowl LV kicks off at 5:30 PM Eastern on February the 7, 2021.
Arians Staying Put
Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians told reporters in a recent interview when asked about rumors of his early retirement, “Hell no. I’m going for two. There is no doubt. If the Glazers will have me back, I’ll be back.”
Arians is 68 years old, and has had several serious health issues in the past few years, including kidney surgery. But Arians made it quite clear that he has no intention of retiring with 3 more years left on his contract there in Tampa Bay. Jake Arians, the coach’s son, said, “He is having the time of his life.”
Part of the reason that Arians is better able to deal with the situation down in Tampa Bay, as opposed to coaching the Arizona Cardinals, is a guy named Byron Leftwich, the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers, who now also handles the play-calling duties. It’s much less strain for the 68 year old head coach who has received a clean bill of health at recent checkups. But Arians is still a pretty funny guy.
Arians was asked what he would have said if GM Jason Licht had told him prior to his joining the Bucs in 2019 that Tampa Bay would be in the Super Bowl in two years and he will have Tom Brady as quarterback. He simply replied, “What are you smoking or drinking? And get me some.”