Tristan Wirfs injury update: Buccaneers will ‘be working on that ankle non-stop’, says Bruce Arians

The Buccaneers won their wild-card playoff game 31-15 against the Eagles, but they lost one of their best offensive players during the game.

Offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs went down on the team’s first drive with an ankle injury. He limped off the field and had to be helped to the locker room. He returned to the game, but he eventually was replaced by Josh Wells and didn’t play in the second half.

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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians provided an update on Wirfs during his postgame news conference.

“He’s got a sprained ankle,” Arians said, before saying of how long Wirfs might be sidelined, “We’ll see.”

The Buccaneers’ offense performed well enough without Wirfs in the lineup. They racked up 349 yards and 31 points with him missing most of the action, after all.

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However, the Eagles were able to get a lot of pressure on Tom Brady and sacked him four times. That was tied for the Buccaneers’ most sacks allowed this season, matching the onslaught Brady endured in a 9-0 loss against the Saints in Week 15.

The Bucs had allowed only 22 sacks before Sunday’s game, good for the fewest in the NFL. However, the team allowed three-plus sacks in four regular-season games and posted a record of 1-3 in those contests. Their lone win came by two points over the Patriots, who were close to hitting a go-ahead field goal with less than a minute left in the game.

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Preventing pressure has a big impact on the Bucs’ ability to win. Wirfs allowed just two sacks in the regular season while playing in all 764 of Tampa Bay’s pass-blocking snaps, so it’s clear that he is a big part of keeping Brady clean.

That’s why Arians is hoping that Wirfs will be able to play in the divisional round of the playoffs.

“Hopefully, we can keep our offensive line intact because I think they’re the best in football, Tristan especially,” Arians said. “They’ll be working on that ankle non-stop.”

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