The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that Head Coach Bruce Arians has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently isolating at home. Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin will serve as interim head coach in Arians’ absence.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 this morning but have only experienced mild symptoms to this point,” said Arians. “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 Buccaneers also placed cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Wide Receiver Mike Evans was added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday, Monday, December 29th.
In addition, Tampa Bay signed outside linebacker Elijah Ponder to the practice squad and released safety Chris Cooper from the practice squad.
Ponder (6-3, 275) entered the league as a college free agent with the Buccaneers this offseason. He spent training camp and preseason with Tampa Bay and spent four weeks on the team’s practice squad earlier this season.Ponder played 32 collegiate games at Cincinnati (2016-20), recording 64 career tackles (12.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Atlanta native earned first-team All-AAC honors in 2019 and second-team All-AAC honors in 2020.