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Rookie Recap: Buccaneers at Rams

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A closer look at the freshmen from Week 4

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams put up nearly 100 points in Week 4, and the large majority of those points were scored by veteran players.

Still, there were rookies on the field, and while they aren’t necessarily jumping off the highlight reel this week, they had an impact. Let’s take a look at each side’s rookie performances from Week 4.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Active: S, Mike Edwards / K, Matt Gay / WR, Scotty Miller / CB, Sean Murphy-Bunting / OLB, Anthony Nelson

Inactive: G, Zack Bailey / CB, Jamel Dean (inj) / ILB, Devin White (inj)

ROOKIE OF THE GAME: K, MATT GAY

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Gay might become a mainstay as our top Buccaneers rookie considering the lack of offensive rookie participation and Devin White’s injury. Of course, every week he’s the top rookie is a week the Bucs likely had a chance to win, or won their game.

This week is no different as the first-year kicker put two field goals through the uprights along with all seven of his extra point tries. Encouraging stats given Gay’s struggles early on have been from right around extra point distance.

With the first quarter of the season in the books, Mike Edwards certainly looks engrained as one of the team’s starting safeties moving forward.

Edwards was one of just three defensive players to play on every snap against the Los Angeles Rams turning in 98 defensive plays in the California sun. Add in the ten special teams plays Edwards was in on, and he was on the field for over 100 plays this past Sunday.

With his opportunities on the field, Edwards contributed six total tackles. Anthony Nelson didn’t play as much but he did notch a tackle in the winning effort.

Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting continues his disappointing rookie campaign turning in one pass defended and appearing on just nine defensive snaps while playing 28 on special teams.

With Ryan Smith returning from suspension for Week 5, it’ll be interesting to see how he impacts Murphy-Bunting’s snaps against the Saints and even more so against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6.

Scotty Miller was active for the second straight game but didn’t get any targets from quarterback Jameis Winston, while playing on eight offensive snaps.

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Active: OT, David Edwards / RB, Darrell Henderson Jr. / LB, Natrez Patrick / S, Taylor Rapp / LB, Troy Reeder / S, Nick Scott

Inactive: OT, Bobby Evans / DT, Greg Gaines / DB, David Long Jr. / WR, Nsimba Webster

ROOKIE OF THE GAME: S, TAYLOR RAPP

NFL: SEP 22 Rams at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Not surprising considering the Los Angeles Rams are coming off a Super Bowl appearance, but there weren’t a lot of rookies making impact plays for the team on Sunday.

Safety, Taylor Rapp led all first-year Rams with his 30 defensive snaps and twelve on special teams. Those snaps turned into three total tackles, all coming on defense.

Unfortunately for Rapp, he left Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with an ankle injury and appears to be a likely game-time decision for Los Angeles as they face the Seahawks in just a few days.

Troy Reeder (LB) turned in 18 defensive snaps for the Rams in Week 4 and contributed three tackles as well.

David Edwards, Darrell Henderson Jr., Natrez Patrick, and Nick Scott all made appearances on special teams with Scott leading the group getting 30 snaps with the unit. None registered any statistical data.

With Week 4 in the books, these rookies will look forward to Week 5. For the Rams it’s a Thursday Night battle in Seattle against the Seahawks. For Tampa Bay, it’s another road trip, this time to face the New Orleans Saints.

Rookies Jamel Dean and Devin White are expected to be close to getting back to playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so we’ll keep a close eye on their statuses as we approach Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season!