TAMPA, Fla. – Bucs linebacker Devin White wanted to clear his name and elected to talk to the media about whether or not, according to some reports, he refused to play Sunday in Green Bay when he reportedly found out that KJ Britt was going to start in his place.
White says that’s false. His foot injury hadn’t healed enough, and he would never quit on the Bucs.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff saying that I quit on my team,” White said. “I don’t understand how I could do that when it was me and Coach (Todd) Bowles’ decision to sit down and rest and be able to help my team. That’s the biggest thing that didn’t sit well with me because I’d never quit on my team. I love this game so much. I love competing so much.”
Since White went out with a foot injury, Britt has filled in and done remarkably well in White’s absence. The Bucs are riding a three game winning streak and at 7-7 are atop the NFC South with another important game this Sunday at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
White says he’s ready to go but however Bowles goes in naming a starter, he’ll support the decision. In fact, White wanted to make it clear just how much respect he has for Bowles.
“Me and Coach Bowles never had a problem since I got drafted,” White said. “He’s a father figure to me and I’ll say on the field and off the field. He knows he’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for. You can tell he looked out for me by making myself get healthy and that’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
Bowles says his sole focus right now is on Jacksonville but said he would for the last time clarify this so-called controversy with White.
“He (White) was medically cleared to play, then indicated he didn’t feel right,” Bowles said. “He informed me that he couldn’t play, he couldn’t go. We had ongoing conversations until Sunday morning. I decided to deactivate him. When he got to the stadium, he found out he was inactive.”
So, White’s going to play against the Packers?
“I expect him to be ready,” Bowles said. “He’ll be ready to play.”
The Bucs and Packers kickoff at 4:05 pm Sunday in Tampa.
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