TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Friday that tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs) and outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (hand, shoulder) will be game-time decisions against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Gronkowski returned to practice Friday after missing two days this week, while Pierre-Paul practiced for the first time since Sept. 15. Arians said Monday that he “did not foresee” Pierre-Paul playing this week.
Gronkowski has been one of the Bucs’ most potent red zone weapons this season, while Pierre-Paul has been the emotional leader of a defense that has only three sacks through the first three games.
Running back Giovani Bernard (knee) and cornerback Jamel Dean (knee) will both be out, meaning the Bucs will be without two of three starting cornerbacks. Richard Sherman, who signed with the team on Wednesday, will be active.
“We’ll have him up just in case,” Arians said.
Sherman said he would need about a week to get acclimated in the Bucs’ system.