Richard Sherman hasn't been a Buccaneer for a full week, but he might make his debut Sunday night.
Coach Bruce Arians told reporters Friday that Sherman will be active for Tampa Bay's Week 4 showdown with the Patriots. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will be game-time decisions, per Arians.
The Sherman revelation is a surprise, considering the 33-year-old corner has been with the team for only a few days. Sherman even admitted Wednesday he didn't think he'd be ready to play significant snaps this weekend, as he was still consuming and digesting Tampa Bay's defensive playbook and attempting to get himself into game shape after spending the summer training alone while awaiting a job offer.
"I need at least a week of practice to really hone things in to play at the level I'm capable of," Sherman said. "I think it would be foolish to expect me to come out this week and play at a super high level. If I did it, it would be another thing to chalk up as a cool thing I did. But I think the expectation is for me to train, to get in shape and to give me an opportunity for the following game."
Sherman's active status is the result of a series of injuries suffered by Buccaneers defensive backs. Sean Murphy-Bunting landed on injured reserve two weeks ago after suffering an elbow injury, while Jamel Dean left Tampa Bay's Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury and will not play Sunday. Carlton Davis has also dealt with multiple injuries this season.
Though Sherman might not feel as if he's entirely prepared, he simply might have to find a way to get ready.
"In my mind, I always think there's a chance, but I don't call any shots around here," Sherman said. "So obviously, it's up to the staff and I don't think they would. I literally was learning the plays on the field today. It's gonna take a second, and I obviously catch on really fast, but it's still gonna take a second to get through the playbook and feel comfortable."
Hopefully for the Bucs, Sherman has gotten through enough of the playbook to contribute Sunday.