The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were dealt a significant injury blow early in the first quarter of their NFL Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles when offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs limped off the field with an ankle injury. The second-year lineman, who had never missed a snap in his NFL career, was deemed questionable to return.

It was a seismic loss for the Bucs, who were already playing without multiple starters, such as wideout Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette. Losing Wirfs, who was named first-team All-Pro this week and has established himself among the best right tackles in the league, could have a huge impact in the playoffs if Tampa wins today.

However, a lot of people were shocked to see Wirfs back out on the sidelines late in the second quarter when the Bucs led 17-0. With things in hand for the time being and halftime coming up, it was a bit shocking to see Wirfs re-enter the game. Given how important he is to the team and how unnecessary it seemed to be in the moment for him to risk further injury, a lot of NFL folks watching from him had strong reactions to his return.

Wirfs returning to the game despite being injured recalled a lot of what people had heard about Antonio Brown and his reasons for leaving the Bucs. Brown claimed that he was forced to play despite saying he was injured and that head coach Bruce Arians didn’t care, a claim that Arians has denied.

We’ll see if Wirfs plays significant minutes in the second half. If things hold for the Bucs, they won’t really need him out there. But there’s certainly going to be some questions for Arians after the game given the accusations levied against him regarding playing an injured player in the past.

UPDATE: Bruce Arians has said that Wirfs will not play the rest of the game.

[NFL.com]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.