Updates: October 2023 – Buccaneers.com

October 30 Updates
On Monday, the Buccaneers re-signed rookie cornerback Derrek Pitts, who spent the first seven weeks of the season on the active roster, to their practice squad. To make room on that 16-man unit, the Bucs released rookie linebacker brandon Bouyer-Randle.
Pitts had been waived the previous Wednesday when the team needed a spot on the 53-man roster to active running back Chase Edmonds from injured reserve. Pitts played in two games, against Chicago and Philadelphia, and logged one tackle each on defense and special teams. He was inactive for the other four games before his release.
Pitts, who finished his collegiate career at North Carolina State, joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in May. He made the active roster out of training camp after playing in all three preseason games and contributing five tackles on defense and one on special teams.
Bouyer-Randle also joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted rookie in May after playing his college ball at Connecticut.
#6 QB
October 24 Updates
In Week Six, the Buccaneers and Lions met in a contest that pitted the first-overall pick in the 2016 draft, Jared Goff, against the first-overall pick in the 2018 draft, Baker Mayfield. On Thursday, Mayfield’s Buccaneers will play the Bills in Buffalo and the game will be headlined by another interesting quarterback intersection.
The leadup to the 2018 draft featured very little consensus in the media as to what order top QB prospects Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen would come off the board. (In retrospect, Lamar Jackson, who was selected 32nd, clearly should have been in that conversation.) In the end, the Browns took Mayfield first, the Jets went with Darnold third, the Bills snagged Allen with the seventh pick and Rosen went to the Cardinals at number 10. Coincidentally, Buffalo got to the seventh spot to take Allen in a trade up with the Buccaneers, who eventually landed on Vita Vea at number 12.
Players in the same draft class, particularly those who are expected to be picked very early, tend to get to know each other through the pre-draft process. Mayfield has enjoyed seeing Allen succeed in Buffalo, though he would like that to be put on hold for one week.
“Josh is a great guy, a tremendous athlete,” said Mayfield. “He’s fun to watch… hopefully not too much fun on Thursday, but yeah, it’s always good to see him.”
To this point, Allen has provided the greatest return to the four teams who picked quarterbacks in the top 10 in 2018, if only because he is still with that team. He also has a 56-27 regular-season record as a starter and has helped Buffalo make the playoffs four years in a row. Mayfield led the Browns to the playoffs in his third season but was traded to the Panthers in 2022 after Cleveland acquired Deshaun Watson. He is now working to reestablish himself as an upper-level starting quarterback in the NFL.
Mayfield won three of his first four starts as a Buccaneer and, at that point, had a passer rating of 101.5. Tampa Bay’s offense has struggled as a whole in the last two games, in which Mayfield has thrown one touchdown pass and two interceptions, but he sees evidence of better things to come on the game tape.
“A few plays I’d like to have back, but we’re just so close,” said Mayfield. “I’m getting tired of saying that but it’s the truth when you go back and watch it. It’s one play here or there that’s going to make the difference in us keeping drives sustained, or the big plays over the top to get those explosive plays. We’re close. Way too many penalties – that’s really what stuck out when re-watching the film. I mentioned it after the game but when you’re re-watching it, it really did kill the drives and take away some good plays.”
So far this season, Allen has played seven games and thrown for 1,841 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Mayfield has played six games and thrown for 1,363 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Allen has rushed for 148 yards, to 99 for Mayfield, and has taken 10 sacks, to eight for Mayfield. Both quarterbacks from what has proved to be a fascinating 2018 draft class will be trying to get the upper hand on Thursday night.
CLICK HERE for more of Baker Mayfield’s thoughts on Tuesday.
#22 RB
October 23 Updates
On Monday, the Buccaneers designed veteran running back Chase Edmonds for return from injured reserve. That opens a 21-day window in which Edmonds can practice with the team without counting against the 53-man active roster limit.
Edmonds can be activated to the roster at any time during those 21 days. Theoretically, that means he could return to game action as soon as this Thursday, as long as the Bucs activate him before then. Tampa Bay currently has three running backs on the active roster but they were carrying four before Edmonds suffered a knee injury in Tampa Bay’s Week Two win over Chicago.
If Edmonds is activated, the Buccaneers will have to make a corresponding move to open a spot on the 53-man roster.
Edmonds signed with the Buccaneers in March after he split the 2022 season between Miami and Denver. A fourth-round pick out of Fordham in 2018, he played his first four seasons with the Cardinals. His career totals include 405 carries for 1,816 yards (4.5 avg.) and 11 touchdowns, plus 144 receptions for 1,078 yards and six scores. Prior to his injury, he had logged four carries for 20 yards as a Buccaneer.
Tampa Bay would welcome any help for their sluggish rushing attack, which currently ranks 29th in the league with 77.8 yards per game. In 2021, Edmonds best rushing season with the Cardinals, he gained 592 yards on 116 carries. He hit a career high of 53 receptions in 2020.
CLICK HERE for Head Coach Todd Bowles’ thoughts on the state of the Buccaneers.
#50 NT
October 20 Updates
The Buccaneers started the week with only one player limited on the practice field and they hope to have none by the time they face the Falcons on Sunday.
Vita Vea was held out of practice on Thursday due to a foot injury but he returned to action on Friday, which made Head Coach Todd Bowles optimistic the Pro Bowl defensive lineman would be available against Atlanta and it’s powerful rushing attack.
“He looked a little better today, so hopefully by Sunday he should be at full tilt,” said Bowles.
The Buccaneers didn’t report any injury for Vea during their Week Six game against Detroit but he was limited when practices begin on Wednesday in Week Seven. Bowles said there was no specific event that led to Vea’s discomfort.
“It didn’t happen in either [the game or practice],” he said. “It was just sore. He just came in and said it was sore and got it checked out, so we’re monitoring him.”
#87 TE
Rookie tight end Payne Durham, a fifth-round draft pick out of Purdue, was inactive for the first four games of the season, with the team electing to dress David Wells along with the second-year duo of Cade Otton and Ko Kieft. However, after the bye in Week Five, the Buccaneers made a switch at the third tight end spot and kept Durham active rather than Wells. Durham played six snaps on offense and seven on special teams and caught the only pass on which he was targeted for a gain of eight.
The Bucs could keep all four tight ends active but generally only dress three on game days, and it sounds as if Durham will continue to get an opportunity to mix into the offense going forward.
“Right now, I really liked what he did,” said Head Coach Todd Bowles. “He’s been practicing great. He’s a gritty guy, he’s tall, he’s very good in the red zone as a target. He’s tough out in space, so we’re looking for him to get some touches.”
At 28, Wells is the senior member of the Bucs’ tight end corps, but he only had three regular season games of NFL experience prior to this season. Durham, Otton and Kieft are all 25 or younger, and obviously still developing as NFL players. That said, Bowles has been satisfied with how they have played so far in 2023.
“They’re doing a heck of a job in the run game,” he said. “I think in the pass game when their number’s called for the most part they’ve been producing. Obviously, with the receivers we have, they don’t get their numbers called that much, but I like where they are in the passing game and I think as the season matures they’ll help us down the line.”
#54 LB
October 19 Updates
After the first three games of the Buccaneers’ 2023 season, safety Ryan Neal was the team’s leading tackler. After four games, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was on top of that charge. And now, five games in, the Bucs’ top tackler is ageless linebacker Lavonte David.
David leap-frogged his teammates on the tackle chart with a vintage performance in the Buccaneers’ 20-6 loss to the Lions last Sunday. In addition to a game-high 12 stops, he also had a sack, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed, pushing his season total to 40.
Since joining the Buccaneers as a second-round draft pick in 2012, David has finished the season as the team’s leading tackler eight times. He’s had a lot of competition in recent years from 2019 first-rounder Devin White – in fact, the two actually tied for the tackle lead in 2022 – but the fact that David is in his 12th season and still producing at a high level has not gone unnoticed by his younger teammates.
“The guy’s still doing it,” said White. “He’s obviously going to be one of the all-time great linebackers to ever play the game, at least in my eyes. I think the stats say exactly what I say. He’s still having fun. He’s still coming to work every day. He just said the other day, ‘I’m in Year 12 and I don’t take no days off,’ and I really respect that. And I think that’s why it shows up on the field, because he’s being rewarded for all the work he puts in.”
During an interview on the Salty Dogs podcast this week, David said his continued success a dozen years into his career has a lot to do with conservation of motion and energy. He doesn’t play as frenetically as he did in his early seasons but he makes up for it with the experience and instincts that he has honed over the years. That said, according to White he hasn’t exactly lost a step, either.
“He’s fast, but he’s not faster than me,” said White with a laugh. “But he’s fast – I’ll give him that. He got some tread left on those old tires.”
October 13 Updates
On Thursday, in the midst of the Buccaneers’ preparations for a Week Six game against the 4-1 Lions, Offensive Coordinator noted – perhaps half-jokingly – how much better it is for a team to win the game right before it’s bye week.
“Always good to win going into the bye because you stay a winner for two weeks,” he said. “A coach taught me that a long time ago and I’m sticking with it.”
Of course every team prefers to taste victory before its bye week. However, that does not mean it definitely wants a bye week after every win, even if it does double the time to enjoy the feeling. Take the Buccaneers: After playing their best game of the season in a 26-9 win in New Orleans to finish the first “quarter” at 3-1 and in first place in the NFC South, they probably felt as if they had built up some momentum. After a week off, can they maintain it?
“It’s tough; I’ve been on both ends of that before,” said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Friday. Obviously, when you have a bye week when you’re winning, you want to keep going, but when you’re banged up, you want to take a bye Week. Getting back into the swing of things and getting used to the grind of the middle of the season is usually different for a lot of people. Hopefully we come out with the same energy we had before we left.”
As Bowles notes, the timing of the bye week did have its advantages, as the roster had begun to accumulate some critical injuries. There’s no guarantee that wide receiver Mike Evans (hamstring), cornerback Jamel Dean (neck/shoulder), defensive lineman Calijah Kancey (calf)  or safety Ryan Neal (concussion) among others would have been ready to play if the Bucs-Lions tilt was scheduled for Week Five. Now the team has just one health question mark heading into the weekend, as outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett has missed the last two practices due to an illness.
That said, the Bucs’ healthy roster hasn’t been that way for long, and there hasn’t been much time for it to jell. For instance, Kancey only returned to practice this week after missing the majority of the past two months with the calf injury he initially suffered early in training camp. He has played exactly 11 defensive snaps within the Bucs’ front-line rotation.
“It’s early but any time you can have your full guys…they’ve just got to get used to playing together again,” said Bowles. “One week of practice doesn’t make the chemistry right. We’ve just got to get some gametime experience – obviously, some have got to knock the rust off. We’ll go from there.”
CLICK HERE to hear more of Coach Bowles’ thoughts after Friday’s practice.
#54 LB
October 12 Updates
The Buccaneers will have 48 players active for Sunday’s game against the Lions, and therefore garbed in the team’s iconic ‘Creamsicle’ throwback jerseys. For 47 of them, it will be the first time they’ve dressed in the team’s original orange-and-white scheme.
The lone exception is linebacker Lavonte David, who is in his 12th season with the Buccaneers. His rookie campaign was 2012, which also happened to be the last time the team donned the Creamsicle jerseys. The Bucs had a four-year series of throwback games from 2009-12, then had to shelve the tradition for roughly a decade due to the NFL’s single-helmet restrictions. Now, they’re back, and David seems to be enjoying both the opportunity to wear the Creamsicle uniforms again and the fact that he’s the only player on the team to have done it before.
“I am the only one,” he said on Thursday with a grin. “I am the only one. I’ve got a lot to brag about. I mess with guys and I’ll be like, ‘Hey, have you worn it?’ Nobody has ever worn it, so I’m the only one who can brag about it and show them how to dress it up, show them how to look in it. I’ve got that title right now.”
David had a good outing in that 2012 Creamsicle Game, leading the team with eight tackles and adding two tackles for loss and one pass defensed, although the Saints rallied from two touchdowns down to win the game, 35-28. Other than getting a ‘W’ this time, David wants to change one other thing about that first throwback experience.
“Back then, I didn’t know I could keep my jersey,” he said. “They ended up taking it from me. I asked like maybe a couple years down the line and they said they gave them away. This one, I’m definitely keeping. I might even keep the helmet, as well.”
CLICK HERE for more of Lavonte David’s thoughts on Sunday’s game, including the impact a returning Calijah Kancey could make.
#31 S
October 11 Updates
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers began their on-field preparations for a critical tilt with the Detroit Lions in Week Six, and for the first time in 2023 they had official team captains to lead the way.
Head Coach Todd Bowles revealed to his team the results of their recent votes for team captains during a meeting on Wednesday morning. The Bucs will have the maximum complement of eight captains in 2023: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Baker Mayfield and Tristan Wirfs on offense; Lavonte David, Vita Vea, Devin White and Antoine Winfield Jr. on defense.
For Godwin, Wirfs and Winfield, this marks the first time in their NFL careers that they will get to wear the “C” on their jerseys. Both were honored to be selected for the role by their teammates.
“I think it means a lot, because it’s indicative of what my teammates think of me,” said Godwin, who is in his seventh season with the Buccaneers. “I pride myself on being a hard worker and doing things the right way. I’m grateful and appreciative of my guys.”
Winfield is in his fourth season as a Buccaneer and has been emerging as a leader on defense both on and off the field. That development plus Bowles’ decision to wait a month into the season before selecting captains was likely key to Winfield drawing his teammates’ votes.
“It’s awesome,” said Winfield. “I just appreciate all my teammates, all the coaches that voted me in and made me the captain – I mean, one of the captains, not the captain. It’s awesome. [Waiting to vote] gave us a chance for everybody to make their own decisions, instead of, you know, you get those names right away. It gave us an opportunity to actually lead and show people that we are captains of this team.”
CLICK HERE for more on the Bucs’ 2023 team captains.
October 9 Updates
Thanks to an uplifting win in the Superdome on October 1, Head Coach Todd Bowles gave the players a little extra bonus: They got the entire bye week off, rather than just the four consecutive days required by the NFL. That announcement drew a cheer in the postgame locker room.
It did come with one understandable caveat, however: Players trying to recover from injuries had to come in for whatever amount of treatment they needed. For linebacker Devin White, that meant no trip out of town last week; instead, he spent much of that time rehabbing an ailing foot under the guidance of Director of Rehabilitation/Performance Coach Maral “MJ” Javadifar.
“I was with MJ, trying to get my foot better, so I was here the whole time,” said White.
White originally suffered the injury in the Bucs’ Week Three Monday night loss to the Eagles. He was already playing through a groin injury that clearly put some limit on what he could do, which was obvious when he picked off a Jalen Hurts pass but couldn’t get up to full speed in an attempt to take it to the house. He was considered a question mark to play against both Philadelphia and New Orleans but only missed four defensive snaps in those two games combined. Still, the bye week came at a good time for him.
“It feels way better than it did last week, I can tell you that,” said White. “At first I was kind of mad that we got an early bye, but after sustaining an injury in the Eagles game I kind of needed it. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time.”
CLICK HERE for more of Devin White’s thoughts after the Bucs held a “bonus practice” on Monday.
#13 WR
October 4 Updates
Wide receiver Mike Evans left the Buccaneers’ 26-9 win over the Saints on Sunday in the second quarter due to a hamstring injury. He did not return to the game, but with the team now in its bye week, the hope is that he will be able to play when the Buccaneers take on the Detroit Lions in Week Six. As well as the team’s other receivers stepped up in his absence on Sunday, Evans is obviously a key cog in the Buccaneers’ offense.
He has also been one of the league’s most efficient pass-catchers this season. Through four games he has 20 catches for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He has achieved those totals while running a total of 96 routes, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. That gives him a yards-per-route figure of 3.5, which ranks fifth among all NFL players who have run at least 20 routes.
The only four players ahead of Evans on the list are Denver’s Marvin Mims (36 routes, 6.7 avg.), San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk (66, 4.8), Miami’s Tyreek Hill (114, 4.1) and Houston’s Nico Collins (117, 3.7).
Those numbers will be difficult for any of the top five to maintain for an entire season – Hill led qualifying players last year at 3.3 yards per route run – but they still represent a very encouraging start for Evans, particularly within the structure of a brand new offense under coordinator Dave Canales.
After the game on Sunday, Head Coach Todd Bowles said he believed at the time that Evans had just “tweaked” his hamstring, but that he would undergo tests during the bye week. On Monday, Bowles reiterated that tests were forthcoming for the receiver but had no updates at the time. Typically, muscle injuries are evaluated using an MRI examination.
Evans had three catches for 40 yards against the Saints before exiting in the second quarter, hauling in all three passes thrown his way. That included two 18-yard plays on which he was matched up with his long-time rival, cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Evans also drew a pass interference flag on Lattimore on third down that resulted in a first down at the Saints’ 15. That drive ended in a touchdown pass to tight end Cade Otton
CLICK HERE for more Next Gen insights from Sunday’s big win.
October 2 Updates
Dee Delaney, the Buccaneers’ versatile third-year defensive back, is like a well-regarded handyman, taking on different jobs from day to day but producing the same pleasing results each time.
Most recently, Delaney found himself pressed into service as, primarily, a free safety when starter Ryan suffered a concussion two plays into the Buccaneers’ road win over the Saints on Sunday. He played the remaining 63 defensive snaps and punctuated the Bucs’ 26-9 victory with an interception off reserve quarterback Jameis Winston shortly before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. He also turned in three solo tackles as the Buccaneers held Derek Carr and the Saints’ offense to 197 yards, including just 127 yards on 23 completions.
“He did a decent job,” said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Monday after reviewing the game tape. “He did a very decent job. We kind of moved him around [from] corner, strong (safety), free (safety), nickel. He kind of does everything back there for us, but we know he can catch the ball. He studies a lot during the week, and it pays off for him a lot.”
Six days earlier, Delaney had gotten the call at cornerback after an injury to starter Jamel Dean. With Carlton Davis already inactive due to a toe injury and Zyon McCollum starting in his place, the Bucs turned to Delaney to help them stay in the game against a powerful Eagles’ offense. Delaney picked off Jalen Hurts on a deep pass near the Bucs’ goal line in that contest, to go with three more tackles. That means Delaney has tripled his career interception total in the span of a week, as he entered 2023 with one, in his first year with the Buccaneers in 2021.
The Buccaneers are heading into their bye week, which means they could get Dean back from his neck and shoulder injuries and Neal back from his concussion before having to face the Lions on October 15. However, if they do need someone to patch a particular hole in the secondary, they know they can count on Delaney.
CLICK HERE for more of Coach Bowles’ day-after-game thoughts.
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Keep informed with our daily updates: News, notes and more throughout the end of Summer, Training Camp & the Preseason
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