Tristan Wirfs received moderately positive news about his health status Monday.
The Buccaneers tackle is expected to miss 3-4 weeks due to an ankle injury, but his knee is fine, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. Bucs coach Todd Bowles told reporters Monday that Wirfs is week to week with a high ankle sprain.
Wirfs suffered the ankle injury during overtime of Tampa Bay's Week 12 loss to Cleveland and was immediately carted off the field, causing plenty of concern regarding his outlook for the remainder of the 2022 season. Because of the initial appearance of the injury, FOX declined to show a replay of it, leaving most to expect bad news.
Instead, Wirfs has something to look forward to beyond the holidays. A 3-4 week timeframe means the Buccaneers will have to find an answer at right tackle for the next month (likely Josh Wells) for what is already a banged-up offensive line, but it's better than losing Wirfs for the remainder of the season.
Tampa Bay has already been through enough up front, losing two interior linemen to free agency (Alex Cappa) and retirement (Ali Marpet) before the start of the season, then watching center Ryan Jensen go down with a knee injury during training camp. Guard Aaron Stinnie soon followed with his own injury in preseason, forcing the Buccaneers to quickly find replacements for more than just a few weeks.
Second-year center Robert Hainsey has improved as the season has progressed, and Luke Goedeke has stepped in at guard in place of Stinnie. On Sunday, Nick Leverett replaced Goedeke, who was ruled out prior to the game due to injury.
All of this is to say the Buccaneers have been through enough up front already. They're finally catching a minor break with Monday's news on Wirfs.