The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to try to slow Aaron Rodgers without a big piece of their secondary.
Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is out of Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, NFL Network’s James Palmer and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team officially ruled him inactive.
Winfield suffered an ankle injury in practice on Thursday and sat out Friday. There was optimism early in the day that Winfield might be able to give it a go, but a lengthy pre-game workout proved he was unable to play through the injury, Palmer added.
The playmaking safety’s absence is a massive blow to the backend of the Bucs D. Winfield, who should get some consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year, is one of Tampa’s best ballhawks and has made game-changing plays all season.
Winfield compiled 11 tackles and a forced fumble in two postseason games.
With the rookie out, Mike Edwards will join Jordan Whitehead versus the Packers.
On the flip side, the Packers will have corner Kevin King on the field against Tom Brady and the Bucs offensive weapons.
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