York High grad Bruce Arians blasts report suggesting Bucs have relaxed COVID-19 protocols

JOEY KNIGHT
Tampa Bay Times (TNS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians watches during an NFL football practice Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. – Even as national recommendations regarding coronavirus mitigation fluctuate, Tampa Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians insisted Tuesday his organization’s policies are clear.

And the York High graduate took great exception to a report the team wasn’t following its own rules.

In a profane opening statement to reporters following Tuesday’s practice, Arians blasted a Pro Football Talk report suggesting the team requires unvaccinated Bucs players to wear yellow wristbands at practice, while vaccinated players must wear red ones. The report went on to note a number of players had no wristbands during the inaugural training camp workout Sunday.

Nonsense, Arians indicated.

“If I give you some information, know the f––– rules before you put it in the press,” Arians said.

“Red and yellow bands, they don’t have to wear them in practice; that’s for indoors. I’ve got to read s–- (that) we should be fined for red and yellow bands because they’ve got them on at practice – that’s bulls–-. If you’re going to report s–-, make sure it’s f––– right.”

Minutes later, when asked if he finds it difficult adhering to society’s ever-changing mitigation policies, Arians said, “Not at all.”

In a 2020 season that featured a handful of postponed games and some rosters being ravaged due to positive tests, the Bucs remained a glowing example of COVID-19 mitigation. None of their games were postponed, and only a handful of front-line players (linebackers Devin White and Shaquil Barrett, tailback Ronald Jones) appeared on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

And even those were brief stints; White and Barrett each missed only a game.

“We’ve known these rules for a while, and our guys are doing everything they’re supposed to be doing,” said Arians, who has promised hefty fines for unvaccinated players who violate team protocols. “I’m just really pissed at some of the reports saying we’re not.”