Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher is driven off the field after the Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills in the NFL AFC championship football game, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. He left the game with what was reported to be an achilles injury. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
- The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55 on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
- Chiefs Pro Bowl offensive tackle Eric Fisher will miss the game with a torn Achilles tendon
- A look at the injury situation for both teams and analysis can be found below
The first official Super Bowl 55 injury report from the NFL will not be released until next week but the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both had key players hurt in last week’s championship game.
The Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 38-24 to win the AFC crown on Sunday while the Buccaneers knocked off the Green Bay Packers 31-23 in the NFC title game.
The Chiefs and Buccaneers meet on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Tampa Bay, which is a three-point underdog, will be the first team ever to play in the Super Bowl on its home field.
Chiefs Injury Report
|Willie Gay Jr.||LB||Ankle|
Information compiled from various sources
Fisher Out with Achilles Tear
One downer for the Chiefs on Sunday was losing left offensive tackle Eric Fisher to a torn Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter. He will require surgery and miss the Super Bowl.
I am worried about an Achilles rupture on this play for starting Kansas City Chiefs LT Eric Fisher which would be a HUGE loss. Cannot exclude calf strain based on only one view but I am very worried about Achilles #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/G7onbL7AGc
— Eric Friedman, MD (@sportsinjuryMD) January 25, 2021
With Fisher out, right tackle Mike Remmers will shift to left tackle, left guard Andrew Wylie will move to right tackle and Stefan Wisniewski will step into the lineup at left guard. Wylie hurt his knee early in the second half but is expected to play against the Buccaneers.
Fisher is a significant loss as he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career this season.
However, Wisniewski is experienced and will be playing his third Super Bowl in the last four years. He was part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ championship team in the 2017 season and played for the Chiefs last season.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (ankle), running back Le’Veon Bell (knee) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (ankle) all missed the AFC title game. Their status for the Super Bowl is uncertain.
Gay started eight of the Chiefs’ 16 regular-season games but has sat out both playoff games. The rookie had 39 tackles – three for loss – with one sack, one forced fumble and one quarterback hit.
Willie Gay Jr. played his best football on Sunday vs the Raiders. Comes underneath Miller here as he sees the play develop from the backside. Good open-field tackle and good play recognition. Saves potentially a huge gain. @ArrowheadLive pic.twitter.com/OROkaegzkf
— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) November 27, 2020
Bell joined the Chiefs in Week 7 after being released by the New York Jets. The three-time Pro Bowler has not been a big factor, rushing for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries in the regular season while catching 13 passes for 99 yards.
In the 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns in a divisional-round playoff game, Bell rushed twice for six yards.
Watkins sat out the regular-season finale and has missed both playoff games. He has played in just 10 games this season because of injuries.
Rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and strong safety Armani Watts were evaluated for concussions Sunday but returned to action.
Buccaneers Injury Report
|Antoine Winfield Jr.||S||Ankle|
Information compiled from various sources
Whitehead Hurt on Big Play
The only significant injury the Buccaneers sustained in the NFC Championship Game came when strong safety Jordan Whitehead hurt his shoulder when he hit running back Aaron Jones and forced a fumble in third quarter.
Another 3rd down situation — with GB scheming open Aaron Jones on the crosser (pick concept).
Watch the safeties here…
Middle of the field presence — with Jordan Whitehead driving on the crosser (top of the screen).
Physical hit, ball out. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/rdoCzxlQd5
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 25, 2021
Whitehead did not return. His status is uncertain for the Super Bowl.
In the regular season, Whitehead made 74 tackles – nine for loss – with two interceptions, two sacks, one forced fumble and three quarterback hits. He has caused two fumbles and made seven tackles in the Buccaneers’ three playoff games.
Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. missed the first game of his nascent career Sunday because of an ankle injury. One of the top rookies in the NFL this season, Winfield had 94 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a sack during the regular season.
In the playoffs, Winfield has made 12 stops, had two tackles for loss and forced a fumble.
I know Antoine Winfield Jr. didn’t play on Sunday, but gotta wonder if this hit from their previous matchup flashed in his mind before deciding not to take off.
— Steven Cheah (@StevenCheah) January 26, 2021
Whether Winfield can play against the Chiefs remains to be seen and the same goes for wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee), who also sat out against the Packers.
Though he has shown only flashes of the form that made him a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Brown has been a solid contributor since joining the Buccaneers as a free agent in Week 9.
He had 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season and has three catches for 59 yards and a score in two postseason games.
Minimal Line Impact
All of those injuries were already know before the opening line was posted. Thus, none should any bearing on the spread leading up to the game.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.