Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, due to both his age and his recent health issues.
That, however, isn’t going to keep him off the field this fall.
The often-animated head coach who can frequently be seen confronting officials is going to be front and center.
“There’s no chance of me coaching from a box,” Arians said Tuesday, via ESPN. “Once we get a [face] shield that I like, I’ll have my mask and shield on and I won’t be able to spit on [officials] anyway.”
‘There was never a doubt that I was gonna coach’
Arians has had numerous health issues in recent years, including a bout with kidney cancer. He even walked away from the game after the 2017 season. That, along with being 67, are both things that put him at an inherently greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The second-year Buccaneers coach is in one of the worst hotspots for the virus in the country, too.
There were more than 4.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Tuesday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and nearly 150,000 deaths attributed to it. Florida had nearly 442,000 cases, the second-most in the country behind only California, and has seen a massive spike in cases over the past month.
Since returning to the game in 2019, however, Arians has had a very cavalier attitude about his health.
“You can die at any moment doing anything,” Arians said last year. “I mean, so why not do what you love to do?
“If I die on game day, have a drink. Celebrate.”
Though he said that before the coronavirus pandemic began, the sentiment remains the same.
Arians, despite the risks, will be coaching this fall. The NFL’s plans to keep players and coaches safe during the pandemic, he said, only solidified that decision, too.
“There was never a doubt that I was gonna coach,” Arians said, via ESPN. “Especially once I’d seen the protocols and everything that’s in place. Whether it was Tom [Brady] or whoever the quarterback would be — I’m gonna get excited. I really like our ball club.
“Knock on wood we can stay healthy this year and do the things that we want to do, to get to the playoffs. Having Tom adds to the excitement obviously, but I would have been all-in either way.”
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