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Rookie Recap: Freshmen shine in latest Buccaneers conquest

Dreams coming true as Tampa Bay stacks solid wins in back-to-back weeks

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Due to a bad memory and busy lifestyle, we didn’t bring you a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Recap in Week 6. I’ve done my push-up punishment, and am back stronger than ever for your Week 7 version though. So let’s get right to it!


Khalil Davis (DL, Nebraska) was the only Buccaneers rookie inactive for Sunday.

For Vegas, there are only four rookies on the active roster, and only Bryan Edwards (WR, South Carolina) was inactive for the game.


Cam Gill (OLB, Wagner), Tyler Johnson (WR, Minnesota), Chapelle Russell (ILB, Temple), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB, Vanderbilt), Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota), and Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa) were all active for Tampa Bay.

Amik Robertson (CB, Louisiana Tech), Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama), and John Simpson (OG, Clemson) were all active against the Bucs for Las Vegas.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The usual suspects dominated rookie snap counts for the Buccaneers as Wirfs (72/100%) and Winfield (64/98%) played the largest roles on Sunday, and Tyler Johnson saw 29/40% of available offensive snaps even with the return of Chris Godwin and a healthier Scotty Miller on the field.

With Leonard Fournette back in the lineup LeSean McCoy didn’t play at all in Week 7 while Vaughn saw just two snaps; each on special teams.

Gill was in on six defensive snaps and spent most of his time (22/71%) on special teams where Russell got all of his seven snaps in this game.

For the Raiders, Ruggs was on the field for 75% (49) of their offensive snaps while Simpson got 21 (32%) on offense and 4 (13%) on special teams. Their lone defensive rookie, Robertson played just two snaps, both coming on special teams.


You might have to say Wirfs was truly the most impactful rookie as he played as part of the offensive line which not only kept Tom Brady from being sacked for the second-straight game, but also allowed just one quarterback hit while doing so.

There were seven tackles allowed for losses as the Raiders defense was able to stifle the Buccaneers running attack at times throughout the game.

Both Johnson and Winfield made more highlight worthy plays individually as one found the end zone late in the game and the other nabbed his first career interception.

The lone impact rookie to talk about in this one came in the form of Ruggs, but the story of how he impacted this game might be in just how much he actually didn’t.

As a big play threat there’s an obvious influence on any defense going up against top-level speed and ability like Ruggs possesses. However, as an individual the rookies’ 45-yards on three touches is a solid average, but not enough to get the Raiders a win.


The rookie play of the game is an easy pick, and it comes in the form of Antoine Winfield Jr.’s first career interception.

With a 31-20 lead, the Buccaneers defense took to the field midway through the fourth-quarter in a game where the Raiders had comeback on their mind. The Bucs had just put up a touchdown on the possession prior to stretch their modest four-point lead back out to eleven.

Carr dropped back and targeted his leading wide receiver in the game Nelson Agholor to try and get a solid chunk of yards on the first play of the possession. Instead, the ball was deflected as Agholor tried to fight against safety Mike Edwards to make the catch, and Winfield was there waiting to make the catch for his first career interception.

The pick set up Tom Brady and his offense deep in Raiders territory, and just two plays later Ronald Jones II extended the lead to 38-20 with his lone rushing touchdown of the game.

Up 19-points following the extra point, it was all but done for the afternoon and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would end up scoring another touchdown before it was all said and done to give them a 45-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.